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Just over a year and three months ago I graduated with an MA in Media and Public Relations with Merit, and it was one of the proudest moments of my life. It was one of the most challenging years of my life so far and given that I considered dropping out a good three times, it was nice to come to the end of it and be rewarded for my endeavours. 

Generally speaking, I underestimated my master's degree in many ways. I thought I'd have enough time to balance twice weekly blog posts, a social life, my bar work, my assignments, all my reading, extra-curricular activities, finding a job and get enough sleep whilst doing it all, but I couldn't and I didn't. I actually still have old blog photos all archived, yet to be published on here. 

Essentially I wanted to write this post for anyone considering further further education or for those who have recently started a master's degree, because when I was going to open days, putting together my application and starting my course, there wasn't any content like this on the blogs I read. Hopefully this post will give you a further insight into what it's really like studying for a master's, or give you an idea of what to expect from it!
Where and what I did: just for a little background I did a taught MA over one year in Media and Public Relations. I chose to stay on Newcastle University where I had done my undergraduate  degree because everything from the city to the campus to the people were familiar to me. I could have come home to London to study for a masters, but I felt that the courses didn't really fit what I wanted to do and the tuition fees were at least double, if not triple the price I would pay at Newcastle. Plus I had secured a scholarship and alumni discount, so living costs evened themselves out and I could be independent for one more year before returning to the Big Smoke to start my career. 

Just Another 3rd Year? My 3rd year was the best year of my life so far. To most uni-goers that may seem like a bizarre statement but I honestly had the best time in the last year of my BA despite the increased workload and the stress that came with it. I had moved in with some incredible gals off my course and managed to perfect the work-life balance - even though I was the most involved I had ever been in extra-curricular activities, I juggled it all pretty darn well. My social life was the best it had been and I didn't really want it to end, which probably contributed to my decision to stay another year more than I'd like to admit. Either way, when applying for a master's I expected it just to be another third year in terms of difficulty and the amount of work I had to do - but as my tutors began to tell me, it was really a two year course packed into the one, which meant it was a lot more intense, stressful and difficult than the final year of my undergraduate course.

Know Your Reasons for Doing It: As my BA came to a close, I knew that I wanted to work in the media industry but doing exactly what, I wasn't sure. Having never actually studied media, despite having an internship and work experience under my belt, I felt like I could do with a bit more education in the area (and buy myself a bit more time before joining the "real world"). I ended up starting my masters straight after finishing my undergraduate, which perhaps wasn't the best decision as I found myself burning out about half way through my degree - and now I understand why people take a gap year or two to either earn some money or travel the world. By the end of my degree, I began to resent it a bit and I think a break in education would have given me more time to re-appreciate the learning and studying experience and my love for all things media.
Money, Money, Money: Luckily, the UK government are now offering student loans for master's degrees - and it's about time too! However, when I applied there was none. This initially put me off when I first looked into applying for a masters as it seemed virtually impossible to get funding for the course I wanted to do. However, as I mentioned before I luckily secured a scholarship based on my performance at undergrad level and an alumni discount so all in all my tuition fees came down to £3000 - a 1/3 of what I (well the government) was paying for one year of my undergraduate course. To earn a bit of money on the side, I worked on a zero hours contract behind my Student's Union bar, which was so so flexible compared to a usual part-time job as they were really understanding of deadlines and workload. So if you are looking for a part-time job, whilst studying full-time I definitely recommend applying for a job at your Union or around your University campus.

Anxious Feelings: I'm not going to sit here and diagnose myself with anxiety or depression, but overall my masters' degree effected my self-esteem and mental health. Half-way through my first term was one of my lowest points as I had failed my first assignment and at that point I felt like I was wasting time and money. I hadn't made a massive amount of friends on my course either and spent pretty much all of my time studying, which definitely got me down. So I found friends through other means of uni life and soon went out more than a Master's student should, but in having those moments to 'let my hair down' I felt happier, generally less anxious and gave my brain a bit of time off.
The Dreaded Dissertation: Don't let this header fool you too much, I loved the topic of my dissertation as I researched sponsored content as a PR strategy on UK fashion blogs but the process was a lot more stressful than my undergraduate dissertation. Having only three months in total to work on it was difficult, and doing it over summer when everyone else was holidaying and having fun in the sun was even more so. Getting people to take part in my surveys and interviews was a challenge, especially because there wasn't anything in it for them. With my masters' dissertation I found that I had less support and structure than I did at undergrad, which felt frustrating and as though I had more freedom than I actually did. Moreover, as the dissertation was right at the end of my degree and as I still hadn't secured a job, I started to panic and spent a lot of time scouring the Internet for jobs instead of wholly focusing on getting my writing done which definitely had a negative impact on my grades - although luckily in the end it was worth it. 
The Job Hunt: As mentioned above, I let my dissertation marks drop in my job search. I had been applying for jobs since January and despite a fair few interviews and a tonne of applications, it took me until the beginning of August to fully secure a paid internship. At times it felt like all my hard-work in my masters' was a waste of time, as despite popular belief, it didn't seem to give me much of an edge or added value to my application as despite it teaching me really practical skills in PR (like writing press releases, drafting budgets and producing campaign reports), it wasn't direct experience. I was rejected from essentially what was an office b**** job because an interviewer at a top beauty company thought I didn't have enough experience to run around getting people lunch and doing office admin, which felt like a kick in the teeth as I knew my hard work was worth more than that. Also the phrase "we loved your enthusiasm for the company but we have gone with someone with slightly more experience" began to become the story of my life, and it felt as though employers expected graduates to have 20 years of experience before joining the world of work, without even considering their potential to do well. But luckily through a grad recruitment company I found my first position out of uni. In my first interview I was told "you have the most relevant experience out of everyone we've seen" and I was gobsmacked. My dissertation and past experience of working with bloggers very much helped me bag that internship. And from there, when I was told I sadly couldn't be made permanent in that role after the agency lost their biggest client and after 6 months I began a new role at another agency. In my interview for it, I had brought up my modules in advertising and re-designing a magazine all of which where relevant to the role and proved my enthusiasm for working in media and advertising. So all in all, although the job hunt was not quite what I was expecting, the interview practice was great and so I now feel a lot more confident for any applications I may make in the future and a masters is definitely a great starting point to prove your dedication, self-motivation and passion for a subject.
Graduation: Having a winter graduation was again, a whole lot different to my undergraduate graduation (which you can read about here). If I'm honest I found the day itself rather stressful as it was the first slot in the morning at 9:30, it was still dark outside and raining. And don't even get me started on how difficult it was to find a dress that would be winter weather worthy but still look pretty under the robe. After searching high and low - I did manage to find this tea dress number from Topshop and sneak a thick cardi over the top that was invisible under the gown. On the plus side, graduating in December meant that it did coincide with Christmas which is one of my favourite times of the year. Despite the stress, it was so nice to have a day for it all to come to an end (even if I did fully deck it on Newcastle's main shopping street in front of a big crowd wearing these heels).

This post has been sitting in my drafts pretty much ever since I finished my degree, because I still feel as though I have mixed feelings towards it. I see people straight out of university stroll into the job role I currently have and wonder if I wasted my time, money and energy. At times it was overwhelming and at others it was so rewarding, but all in all, a masters ultimately can prove your ability for determination and self-motivation. 

Overall, without my masters and my dissertation topic, I wouldn't have landed what was my dream internship or got to where I am now - so I am grateful for the opportunities that did arise off the back of it and the skills I gained from it - #noragrets and all that.

Have you ever considered doing a masters degree or have you already done one? It's always lovely to hear your thoughts and if you would want me to elaborate on anything like landing a job in media, let me know!

Cx

PS. Yes my jacket is inside out in the pic of me holding my dissertation, which pretty much sums up my whole year to be honest, and in my defence I had been awake for 32 hours after pulling an all nighter the day of my deadline.... well done me

My Master's Degree Experience: Expectations vs. Reality and Everything in Between

21 March 2018

Just over a year and three months ago I graduated with an MA in Media and Public Relations with Merit, and it was one of the proudest moments of my life. It was one of the most challenging years of my life so far and given that I considered dropping out a good three times, it was nice to come to the end of it and be rewarded for my endeavours. 

Generally speaking, I underestimated my master's degree in many ways. I thought I'd have enough time to balance twice weekly blog posts, a social life, my bar work, my assignments, all my reading, extra-curricular activities, finding a job and get enough sleep whilst doing it all, but I couldn't and I didn't. I actually still have old blog photos all archived, yet to be published on here. 

Essentially I wanted to write this post for anyone considering further further education or for those who have recently started a master's degree, because when I was going to open days, putting together my application and starting my course, there wasn't any content like this on the blogs I read. Hopefully this post will give you a further insight into what it's really like studying for a master's, or give you an idea of what to expect from it!
Where and what I did: just for a little background I did a taught MA over one year in Media and Public Relations. I chose to stay on Newcastle University where I had done my undergraduate  degree because everything from the city to the campus to the people were familiar to me. I could have come home to London to study for a masters, but I felt that the courses didn't really fit what I wanted to do and the tuition fees were at least double, if not triple the price I would pay at Newcastle. Plus I had secured a scholarship and alumni discount, so living costs evened themselves out and I could be independent for one more year before returning to the Big Smoke to start my career. 

Just Another 3rd Year? My 3rd year was the best year of my life so far. To most uni-goers that may seem like a bizarre statement but I honestly had the best time in the last year of my BA despite the increased workload and the stress that came with it. I had moved in with some incredible gals off my course and managed to perfect the work-life balance - even though I was the most involved I had ever been in extra-curricular activities, I juggled it all pretty darn well. My social life was the best it had been and I didn't really want it to end, which probably contributed to my decision to stay another year more than I'd like to admit. Either way, when applying for a master's I expected it just to be another third year in terms of difficulty and the amount of work I had to do - but as my tutors began to tell me, it was really a two year course packed into the one, which meant it was a lot more intense, stressful and difficult than the final year of my undergraduate course.

Know Your Reasons for Doing It: As my BA came to a close, I knew that I wanted to work in the media industry but doing exactly what, I wasn't sure. Having never actually studied media, despite having an internship and work experience under my belt, I felt like I could do with a bit more education in the area (and buy myself a bit more time before joining the "real world"). I ended up starting my masters straight after finishing my undergraduate, which perhaps wasn't the best decision as I found myself burning out about half way through my degree - and now I understand why people take a gap year or two to either earn some money or travel the world. By the end of my degree, I began to resent it a bit and I think a break in education would have given me more time to re-appreciate the learning and studying experience and my love for all things media.
Money, Money, Money: Luckily, the UK government are now offering student loans for master's degrees - and it's about time too! However, when I applied there was none. This initially put me off when I first looked into applying for a masters as it seemed virtually impossible to get funding for the course I wanted to do. However, as I mentioned before I luckily secured a scholarship based on my performance at undergrad level and an alumni discount so all in all my tuition fees came down to £3000 - a 1/3 of what I (well the government) was paying for one year of my undergraduate course. To earn a bit of money on the side, I worked on a zero hours contract behind my Student's Union bar, which was so so flexible compared to a usual part-time job as they were really understanding of deadlines and workload. So if you are looking for a part-time job, whilst studying full-time I definitely recommend applying for a job at your Union or around your University campus.

Anxious Feelings: I'm not going to sit here and diagnose myself with anxiety or depression, but overall my masters' degree effected my self-esteem and mental health. Half-way through my first term was one of my lowest points as I had failed my first assignment and at that point I felt like I was wasting time and money. I hadn't made a massive amount of friends on my course either and spent pretty much all of my time studying, which definitely got me down. So I found friends through other means of uni life and soon went out more than a Master's student should, but in having those moments to 'let my hair down' I felt happier, generally less anxious and gave my brain a bit of time off.
The Dreaded Dissertation: Don't let this header fool you too much, I loved the topic of my dissertation as I researched sponsored content as a PR strategy on UK fashion blogs but the process was a lot more stressful than my undergraduate dissertation. Having only three months in total to work on it was difficult, and doing it over summer when everyone else was holidaying and having fun in the sun was even more so. Getting people to take part in my surveys and interviews was a challenge, especially because there wasn't anything in it for them. With my masters' dissertation I found that I had less support and structure than I did at undergrad, which felt frustrating and as though I had more freedom than I actually did. Moreover, as the dissertation was right at the end of my degree and as I still hadn't secured a job, I started to panic and spent a lot of time scouring the Internet for jobs instead of wholly focusing on getting my writing done which definitely had a negative impact on my grades - although luckily in the end it was worth it. 
The Job Hunt: As mentioned above, I let my dissertation marks drop in my job search. I had been applying for jobs since January and despite a fair few interviews and a tonne of applications, it took me until the beginning of August to fully secure a paid internship. At times it felt like all my hard-work in my masters' was a waste of time, as despite popular belief, it didn't seem to give me much of an edge or added value to my application as despite it teaching me really practical skills in PR (like writing press releases, drafting budgets and producing campaign reports), it wasn't direct experience. I was rejected from essentially what was an office b**** job because an interviewer at a top beauty company thought I didn't have enough experience to run around getting people lunch and doing office admin, which felt like a kick in the teeth as I knew my hard work was worth more than that. Also the phrase "we loved your enthusiasm for the company but we have gone with someone with slightly more experience" began to become the story of my life, and it felt as though employers expected graduates to have 20 years of experience before joining the world of work, without even considering their potential to do well. But luckily through a grad recruitment company I found my first position out of uni. In my first interview I was told "you have the most relevant experience out of everyone we've seen" and I was gobsmacked. My dissertation and past experience of working with bloggers very much helped me bag that internship. And from there, when I was told I sadly couldn't be made permanent in that role after the agency lost their biggest client and after 6 months I began a new role at another agency. In my interview for it, I had brought up my modules in advertising and re-designing a magazine all of which where relevant to the role and proved my enthusiasm for working in media and advertising. So all in all, although the job hunt was not quite what I was expecting, the interview practice was great and so I now feel a lot more confident for any applications I may make in the future and a masters is definitely a great starting point to prove your dedication, self-motivation and passion for a subject.
Graduation: Having a winter graduation was again, a whole lot different to my undergraduate graduation (which you can read about here). If I'm honest I found the day itself rather stressful as it was the first slot in the morning at 9:30, it was still dark outside and raining. And don't even get me started on how difficult it was to find a dress that would be winter weather worthy but still look pretty under the robe. After searching high and low - I did manage to find this tea dress number from Topshop and sneak a thick cardi over the top that was invisible under the gown. On the plus side, graduating in December meant that it did coincide with Christmas which is one of my favourite times of the year. Despite the stress, it was so nice to have a day for it all to come to an end (even if I did fully deck it on Newcastle's main shopping street in front of a big crowd wearing these heels).

This post has been sitting in my drafts pretty much ever since I finished my degree, because I still feel as though I have mixed feelings towards it. I see people straight out of university stroll into the job role I currently have and wonder if I wasted my time, money and energy. At times it was overwhelming and at others it was so rewarding, but all in all, a masters ultimately can prove your ability for determination and self-motivation. 

Overall, without my masters and my dissertation topic, I wouldn't have landed what was my dream internship or got to where I am now - so I am grateful for the opportunities that did arise off the back of it and the skills I gained from it - #noragrets and all that.

Have you ever considered doing a masters degree or have you already done one? It's always lovely to hear your thoughts and if you would want me to elaborate on anything like landing a job in media, let me know!

Cx

PS. Yes my jacket is inside out in the pic of me holding my dissertation, which pretty much sums up my whole year to be honest, and in my defence I had been awake for 32 hours after pulling an all nighter the day of my deadline.... well done me

So I haven't been posting on this little ol' blog nearly as much as I'd like to this year but I'm not one to break tradition - so after posting what I got for Christmas on here for three years running, here's this year's instalment...

First up is my new pride and joy, the Missoma x Lucy Williams Large Horn Necklace. I've been living in my silver Tiffany necklace this year, so was pining after a gold alternative and after seeing this all over Instagram I sort of fell in love (just like every other blogger, but hey, now that I own this I'm a real fashion blogger right?). Another present request fuelled by a 2017 love is the poetry book The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur. If you've been living under a rock and haven't heard of Milk and Honey by Kaur or just haven't picked it up yet - DO! It's honestly so beautifully written and without spoiling it, Milk and Honey puts heart break into perspective with a feminist, empowering twist. I've read it at least 4 or 5 times, and only expect the same magic from The Sun and Her Flowers. My dad also picked up the Gabrielle Chanel Fragrance for me - which is very much a lady-like scent with a darker twist with base notes of musk and sandalwood, with a medley of top and middle notes that include mandarin, blackcurrant and jasmine. 

Now some Glossier goodness. I was gutted that I couldn't make it to the beautiful pop-up house the brand did on Great Portland Street earlier this year, but it meant that I could pop a couple of things on my xmas list instead. The raved about Milk Jelly Cleanser smells divine, but after a couple of uses think this will be more of a second cleanser in my evening routine (full review to follow if I get my blogging act together). Second up, we have Boy Brow in Brown. After the first use I am a little dubious about the hype if I'm honest, just because so much product comes out on the little brow brush, but I plan on sticking with it and see how it fairs in the long run. Last of the Glossier bits is the Birthday Balm Dotcom, a super hydrating, long-lasting lip balm and skin salve - with added goodness of glitter and smells like birthday cake. Also pictured is Prosecco Made Me Do It by Ruby Taylor. This was my Secret Santa gift from my manager, who has admitted to buying it more for the title than it's contents (*insert the monkey covering it's eyes emoji*), but it's a recipe book bubbling with prosecco based cocktail recipes (and could make for a decent flatlay prop tbf). 

Back to beauty, I am now also the proud owner of a piece of Rihanna's Fenty Beauty line with the Killawat Freestyle Highlighter Duo in Lighting Dust Fire Crystal. I have already played with this highlighter as two of my friends already own it, and it is literally micro-powder heaven - I can't wait for my highlighter to be fleeky (and I never use that word). I was also lucky enough to receive the MAC Pigment in Copper Sparkle which I am so excited to play around with as I'm a sucker for reddish toned eyeshadow. Last Christmas I received my first ever Jo Malone product as a gift from work and it was the Lime, Basil, and Mandarin Body Crème. It literally lasted me the whole year and I wouldn't stop banging on about it, so luckily it was under my tree again this year. The scent isn't something I'd usually go for, but it's super fresh and the fragrance literally lasts all damn day, so is worth every penny IMO. 

Now for a little bit o' fashion... First up is these Studded Boots from Reserved, which are currently in the Boxing Day Sale if they so take your fancy. I was hunting high and low for some black flat leather boots on the high street, and then spotted these in one of Liv Purvis' YT videos (link here- and feel like they are a slightly daintier version of Doctor Martins, without the price commitment. Second is the Dune Dahlier Backpack in Black. My mum was actually the one who spotted this online so I can't take credit for finding this gem, but I was in need for a new work bag and have seen a couple of people with really nice black, simple backpacks (and I'm also bored of the heavy one-shoulder bag) so thought why nawt? It's got lovely little storage pockets inside too, as well as the sassy detachable leopard print pouch on the back.

Lastly, we have this Red Ribbed Funnel Neck Jumper from Marks and Spencer. Like the boots, I've probably been searching for the perfect red jumper since about March time and I think this might well be it. I am a bit worried about the material bobbling up, but watch this space or as I should say my Instagram, as I'm sure I'll be wearing this for the majority of winter 2018...

Hope you had a very Merry Christmas! Obviously there is a lot more to Christmas than presents, but I'm so grateful for what I received and love reading these type of nosey posts.

What did you get this Christmas? And what was your favourite present this year?

C x

What I Got for Christmas 2017

27 December 2017


So I haven't been posting on this little ol' blog nearly as much as I'd like to this year but I'm not one to break tradition - so after posting what I got for Christmas on here for three years running, here's this year's instalment...

First up is my new pride and joy, the Missoma x Lucy Williams Large Horn Necklace. I've been living in my silver Tiffany necklace this year, so was pining after a gold alternative and after seeing this all over Instagram I sort of fell in love (just like every other blogger, but hey, now that I own this I'm a real fashion blogger right?). Another present request fuelled by a 2017 love is the poetry book The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur. If you've been living under a rock and haven't heard of Milk and Honey by Kaur or just haven't picked it up yet - DO! It's honestly so beautifully written and without spoiling it, Milk and Honey puts heart break into perspective with a feminist, empowering twist. I've read it at least 4 or 5 times, and only expect the same magic from The Sun and Her Flowers. My dad also picked up the Gabrielle Chanel Fragrance for me - which is very much a lady-like scent with a darker twist with base notes of musk and sandalwood, with a medley of top and middle notes that include mandarin, blackcurrant and jasmine. 

Now some Glossier goodness. I was gutted that I couldn't make it to the beautiful pop-up house the brand did on Great Portland Street earlier this year, but it meant that I could pop a couple of things on my xmas list instead. The raved about Milk Jelly Cleanser smells divine, but after a couple of uses think this will be more of a second cleanser in my evening routine (full review to follow if I get my blogging act together). Second up, we have Boy Brow in Brown. After the first use I am a little dubious about the hype if I'm honest, just because so much product comes out on the little brow brush, but I plan on sticking with it and see how it fairs in the long run. Last of the Glossier bits is the Birthday Balm Dotcom, a super hydrating, long-lasting lip balm and skin salve - with added goodness of glitter and smells like birthday cake. Also pictured is Prosecco Made Me Do It by Ruby Taylor. This was my Secret Santa gift from my manager, who has admitted to buying it more for the title than it's contents (*insert the monkey covering it's eyes emoji*), but it's a recipe book bubbling with prosecco based cocktail recipes (and could make for a decent flatlay prop tbf). 

Back to beauty, I am now also the proud owner of a piece of Rihanna's Fenty Beauty line with the Killawat Freestyle Highlighter Duo in Lighting Dust Fire Crystal. I have already played with this highlighter as two of my friends already own it, and it is literally micro-powder heaven - I can't wait for my highlighter to be fleeky (and I never use that word). I was also lucky enough to receive the MAC Pigment in Copper Sparkle which I am so excited to play around with as I'm a sucker for reddish toned eyeshadow. Last Christmas I received my first ever Jo Malone product as a gift from work and it was the Lime, Basil, and Mandarin Body Crème. It literally lasted me the whole year and I wouldn't stop banging on about it, so luckily it was under my tree again this year. The scent isn't something I'd usually go for, but it's super fresh and the fragrance literally lasts all damn day, so is worth every penny IMO. 

Now for a little bit o' fashion... First up is these Studded Boots from Reserved, which are currently in the Boxing Day Sale if they so take your fancy. I was hunting high and low for some black flat leather boots on the high street, and then spotted these in one of Liv Purvis' YT videos (link here- and feel like they are a slightly daintier version of Doctor Martins, without the price commitment. Second is the Dune Dahlier Backpack in Black. My mum was actually the one who spotted this online so I can't take credit for finding this gem, but I was in need for a new work bag and have seen a couple of people with really nice black, simple backpacks (and I'm also bored of the heavy one-shoulder bag) so thought why nawt? It's got lovely little storage pockets inside too, as well as the sassy detachable leopard print pouch on the back.

Lastly, we have this Red Ribbed Funnel Neck Jumper from Marks and Spencer. Like the boots, I've probably been searching for the perfect red jumper since about March time and I think this might well be it. I am a bit worried about the material bobbling up, but watch this space or as I should say my Instagram, as I'm sure I'll be wearing this for the majority of winter 2018...

Hope you had a very Merry Christmas! Obviously there is a lot more to Christmas than presents, but I'm so grateful for what I received and love reading these type of nosey posts.

What did you get this Christmas? And what was your favourite present this year?

C x
Playsuit - Zara (this year's version here)
Handbag - Whistles
Shoes - Next
Sunglasses - Ray-Ban

So as you may be aware, I am so behind on my blog's content that these pictures were actually taken last year... but as Zara have brought out an update to this playsuit this season (with long, flared sleeves), I thought I'd dig this content out of my archives. 

In the last year or so I have found myself reaching for looser and baggier silhouettes, and this cotton poplin playsuit is no exception. Some 'fashion rules' dictate that you have to dress to to your body shape, if it's not 'flattering' we are made to believe that we shouldn't reach for it. For years I thought baggy clothes were no good, that I needed something that would cinch me in at the waist to prove I had one. However, fashion trends such as the move away from skinny jeans to straight leg and Mom jeans (and Zara in general), have allowed me to explore bigger shapes that don't necessarily 'flatter' my body shape.

But although this playsuit isn't the most 'flattering' of shapes I love it. With the skirt of it starting at the chest and flaring it out, I quite like how it hides parts of my body and can make my legs appear smaller than they are. The cut out detailing on the back is another favourite of mine, along with with gorgeous pale blue shade.

With this being quite a statement piece, I have paired this with some trusty simple staples like my Whistles handbag and my blue Ray-Ban Clubmasters. Now I just need the really warm weather to return to the UK (or alternatively a holiday), to wear this again.

What do you think to this outfit? Do you always dress for your body shape or do you like loose silhouettes too? 

Let me know in the comments below!

C x


Photos by Nathalie Dickson

An OOTD From The Archives: I'm Blue...

23 July 2017

Playsuit - Zara (this year's version here)
Handbag - Whistles
Shoes - Next
Sunglasses - Ray-Ban

So as you may be aware, I am so behind on my blog's content that these pictures were actually taken last year... but as Zara have brought out an update to this playsuit this season (with long, flared sleeves), I thought I'd dig this content out of my archives. 

In the last year or so I have found myself reaching for looser and baggier silhouettes, and this cotton poplin playsuit is no exception. Some 'fashion rules' dictate that you have to dress to to your body shape, if it's not 'flattering' we are made to believe that we shouldn't reach for it. For years I thought baggy clothes were no good, that I needed something that would cinch me in at the waist to prove I had one. However, fashion trends such as the move away from skinny jeans to straight leg and Mom jeans (and Zara in general), have allowed me to explore bigger shapes that don't necessarily 'flatter' my body shape.

But although this playsuit isn't the most 'flattering' of shapes I love it. With the skirt of it starting at the chest and flaring it out, I quite like how it hides parts of my body and can make my legs appear smaller than they are. The cut out detailing on the back is another favourite of mine, along with with gorgeous pale blue shade.

With this being quite a statement piece, I have paired this with some trusty simple staples like my Whistles handbag and my blue Ray-Ban Clubmasters. Now I just need the really warm weather to return to the UK (or alternatively a holiday), to wear this again.

What do you think to this outfit? Do you always dress for your body shape or do you like loose silhouettes too? 

Let me know in the comments below!

C x


Photos by Nathalie Dickson
So I may have shot these pictures a while back with the intention of naming this post something along the lines of 'Skincare Saviours for the Colder Months' - but as the British can't really make up it's mind when it comes to summer and my skin seems to be fluctuating between being oily to combination to dry, I thought I'd pop up this post to share the products I turn to when my skin misbehaves and dries out. These products are available all year round, but are great for incorporating into your skincare routine when it gets colder or equally great at prolonging a summer tan. 

Let's start clockwise from the top with Avène's Clearance EXPERT. Despite being made for acne-prone and oily complexions like my own, this moisturiser is rather rich in it's formula - but in a good way. As my skin grew immune to La Roche-Posay's Effaclar Duo [+], I sought out a replacement that would combat my spots but also cater to my skin becoming drier throughout winter and stumbled upon Avéne's Clearance range (which saves me about 50p for a moisturiser and every little helps right?). Anyhow, as a French pharmaceutical product, of course it works wonders. This moisturiser has really helped to clear up my complexion and unclog my pores, as well as regulating the production of oil around my T-zone, leaving my skin mattifyed (if that's a word?), hydrated, soft and smooth. The cream also claims that it exfoliates the skin too, but I haven't found this with my skin and so I'd recommend using an exfoliating toner with this to remove any flakey bits of skin.

Another great product for oily skin (and I imagine all skin types really), is the Super Facialist by Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Skin Renew Cleansing Oil. I feel like I have banged on about this holy-grail status worthy cleanser a fair few times (have a read here), but I feel like it needs another little ode so here goes... With an oily complexion, I always used to shy away from facial oils, believing the skincare myths that these would only make my T-zone produce more oil, but in fact it doesn't at all and the formula is pretty lightweight. The more you massage this into your skin, the more radiance this cleanser injects into my complexion. As well as Vitamin C this formula contains olive, grapeseed, rosemary, cucumber and rosehip oils so understandably moisturises the skin but despite this, it doesn't overload the skin with moisture. After using this my skin feels refreshed and cleansed of impurities - it's also amazing at dissolving stubborn makeup including waterproof mascara, so I tend to use this as a primary cleanser before a facial wash. 

Another product I have previously raved about is Lush's Ro's Argan Body Conditioner (links here). This is another product that has won holy-grail status in my eyes as it works so well as an in-shower/bath quick fix for dry skin - especially if moisturising after you shower/bathe is a step you tend to skip (like me, worst-beauty-blogger-ever-alert). Think of it as an equivalent of hair conditioner for your body in that you rub it into wet skin, leave it for a couple mins and then rinse it off.. The formula is packed with moisture giving ingredients including argan oil (ofc), almond oil, organic brazil but oil, rose oil, geranium oil, lemon oil, cocoa butter, cupuacu butter and shea butter. This little pot of luxury leaves your skin feeling super soft, supple and radiant - definitely worth the £16.50 price tag.

Last but not least is the beauty classic Bio-Oil. Although this oil is better known for its results in reducing scars and stretch marks, it can also be used for uneven skin-tone, aging skin and dehydrated skin too and used as an after-sun treatment or bath oil. It has a lovely fruity and floral scent to it, combining lavender oil, rosemary oil, calendula oil and chamomile oil, meaning that Bio-Oil is packed with calming ingredients and vitamins to help soothe problem areas of the skin. If my skin is extremely dry, this is the product I turn to to rejuvenate it - key areas I use this are my knee caps, feet, elbows and over my keratosis pilaris on my upper arms. 

Have you tried any of these products and if you have, what do you think of them? Can you recommend any skincare saviours of your own to help combat dry skin?
C x

Skincare Saviours For Dry Skin

21 May 2017

So I may have shot these pictures a while back with the intention of naming this post something along the lines of 'Skincare Saviours for the Colder Months' - but as the British can't really make up it's mind when it comes to summer and my skin seems to be fluctuating between being oily to combination to dry, I thought I'd pop up this post to share the products I turn to when my skin misbehaves and dries out. These products are available all year round, but are great for incorporating into your skincare routine when it gets colder or equally great at prolonging a summer tan. 

Let's start clockwise from the top with Avène's Clearance EXPERT. Despite being made for acne-prone and oily complexions like my own, this moisturiser is rather rich in it's formula - but in a good way. As my skin grew immune to La Roche-Posay's Effaclar Duo [+], I sought out a replacement that would combat my spots but also cater to my skin becoming drier throughout winter and stumbled upon Avéne's Clearance range (which saves me about 50p for a moisturiser and every little helps right?). Anyhow, as a French pharmaceutical product, of course it works wonders. This moisturiser has really helped to clear up my complexion and unclog my pores, as well as regulating the production of oil around my T-zone, leaving my skin mattifyed (if that's a word?), hydrated, soft and smooth. The cream also claims that it exfoliates the skin too, but I haven't found this with my skin and so I'd recommend using an exfoliating toner with this to remove any flakey bits of skin.

Another great product for oily skin (and I imagine all skin types really), is the Super Facialist by Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Skin Renew Cleansing Oil. I feel like I have banged on about this holy-grail status worthy cleanser a fair few times (have a read here), but I feel like it needs another little ode so here goes... With an oily complexion, I always used to shy away from facial oils, believing the skincare myths that these would only make my T-zone produce more oil, but in fact it doesn't at all and the formula is pretty lightweight. The more you massage this into your skin, the more radiance this cleanser injects into my complexion. As well as Vitamin C this formula contains olive, grapeseed, rosemary, cucumber and rosehip oils so understandably moisturises the skin but despite this, it doesn't overload the skin with moisture. After using this my skin feels refreshed and cleansed of impurities - it's also amazing at dissolving stubborn makeup including waterproof mascara, so I tend to use this as a primary cleanser before a facial wash. 

Another product I have previously raved about is Lush's Ro's Argan Body Conditioner (links here). This is another product that has won holy-grail status in my eyes as it works so well as an in-shower/bath quick fix for dry skin - especially if moisturising after you shower/bathe is a step you tend to skip (like me, worst-beauty-blogger-ever-alert). Think of it as an equivalent of hair conditioner for your body in that you rub it into wet skin, leave it for a couple mins and then rinse it off.. The formula is packed with moisture giving ingredients including argan oil (ofc), almond oil, organic brazil but oil, rose oil, geranium oil, lemon oil, cocoa butter, cupuacu butter and shea butter. This little pot of luxury leaves your skin feeling super soft, supple and radiant - definitely worth the £16.50 price tag.

Last but not least is the beauty classic Bio-Oil. Although this oil is better known for its results in reducing scars and stretch marks, it can also be used for uneven skin-tone, aging skin and dehydrated skin too and used as an after-sun treatment or bath oil. It has a lovely fruity and floral scent to it, combining lavender oil, rosemary oil, calendula oil and chamomile oil, meaning that Bio-Oil is packed with calming ingredients and vitamins to help soothe problem areas of the skin. If my skin is extremely dry, this is the product I turn to to rejuvenate it - key areas I use this are my knee caps, feet, elbows and over my keratosis pilaris on my upper arms. 

Have you tried any of these products and if you have, what do you think of them? Can you recommend any skincare saviours of your own to help combat dry skin?
C x
Hello, oh hi there, how are you doing? 

It's been far too long since I have contributed to my little corner of the internet, so I thought it was high time I address this. Back in 2014 when I first set up my blog, I used to post little life updates/excuses a little too regularly as to why I hadn't been around (feel free to lurk through my archives if you fancy cringey content/a lol in general), and so I will try not to make this a boring long list of excuses that quite frankly you won't care about. 

I've tried sitting down to complete two mahoosive posts for months on end now; the first a real-talk post on what to expect from a master's degree (which I'm hoping to publish before I actually forget what it was like) and the other was a big round up of my favourite fashion finds, beauty bits and reads from 2016 - but let's be honest it is now May (!!) so it's probably too late to post it (or would like to read it? Let me know!). I've felt like I couldn't push out other content without posting these meaty posts first, but in pressurising myself to write them, I ultimately became overwhelmed and unmotivated. I'm not one to post half-hearted content for the sake of it as I only want to share content I am proud of (then again I'm not sure of how proud of this post I am going to be...).

From September to the end of February, I was doing a paid internship at a media agency and a big part of my job was to work on their blogger/influencer network. This was by far my favourite part of my internship and although it's not a part of my current job role, influencer and content marketing is definitely an area of advertising I want to get back into in the future. However, in sourcing and researching bloggers for major brand collaborations, I think it made me more aware of myself as a smaller blogger - that I haven't produced nearly enough content as I would have liked to and that perhaps my blog is not as popular as I'd have hoped it to be. I know that a big part of blog growth comes down to determination, hard work and constant content creation - the time when I saw the greatest traffic to my blog was whilst I was posting twice weekly, but I have been unable to get myself back to that level. Working full time has made me feeling a little deflated and uninspired to write in the evenings and on weekends I tend to just want to relax (or feel sorry for myself binge-watching Netflix if I'm hungover). Essentially, I fell out of love with blogging.

I know that in the future I will never be a full-time blogger (even though I still think of it as the ultimate dream job), but I am okay with that. For now I just want to fall back in love with blogging. I thought I would achieve this by investing in my domain name and a new blog design at the beginning of this year, but alas along came job applications and I had no time to dedicate to Charlotte's Road. So although I have felt really guilty and disappointed in myself for not blogging, as my blog name suggests this is all about sharing my journey and so I guess that will come with ups and downs, and sometimes in waves.

Anyhow, now that I have settled into a new job and a bit more of a routine I am hoping to channel more creativity into the ol' blog. My current role isn't that creative and I do consider myself to be a creative person, so I'm kinda in need of an outlet for it at the moment.

I have always thought of this as predominantly a place for beauty content, but right now I'm more in love with fashion and so I'm hoping to get more haul and ootd type posts on here. I am also hoping to post a tonne of a lot more regularly again, so here's to hoping this post won't be a complete joke. However, if you do want to keep up with my daily life you can find me on Instagram at @charlotte_dickson or by clicking the pics from my feed below - where I'm a whole lot more reliable for producing content (and I've even been involved in a few sponsored campaigns on the 'gram during my blogging hiatus, which still seems a bit surreal).

Talking of Instagram, I feel like I could post a whole lot complaining about the current algorithms stifling small accounts, how it seems like people are no longer genuinely following others for the content they like, how it's just becoming a numbers game and don't even get me started on those cheating their following with bots and buying followers. Nonetheless, this blog post is probably moany enough, so I'll save that for another day.

So yeah, thank you for sticking around and with me on this little blog. I still can't believe there's a total of 505 of you following my content over on Bloglovin'! So think of this as a note to say that I haven't forgotten about you and a thank you to anyone that has ever read any post I have ever written - hopefully there's still a lot more to come from me.

If you're a fellow blogger have you ever felt guilty for not posting enough, or put too much pressure on yourself that you felt you just couldn't blog? Or have you ever fallen out of love with blogging? Do you still think there's space on the internet for smaller bloggers or those that don't post that regularly?
As always let me know in the comments below!
Cx

Hey Stranger: A Ramble and Rant

7 May 2017

Hello, oh hi there, how are you doing? 

It's been far too long since I have contributed to my little corner of the internet, so I thought it was high time I address this. Back in 2014 when I first set up my blog, I used to post little life updates/excuses a little too regularly as to why I hadn't been around (feel free to lurk through my archives if you fancy cringey content/a lol in general), and so I will try not to make this a boring long list of excuses that quite frankly you won't care about. 

I've tried sitting down to complete two mahoosive posts for months on end now; the first a real-talk post on what to expect from a master's degree (which I'm hoping to publish before I actually forget what it was like) and the other was a big round up of my favourite fashion finds, beauty bits and reads from 2016 - but let's be honest it is now May (!!) so it's probably too late to post it (or would like to read it? Let me know!). I've felt like I couldn't push out other content without posting these meaty posts first, but in pressurising myself to write them, I ultimately became overwhelmed and unmotivated. I'm not one to post half-hearted content for the sake of it as I only want to share content I am proud of (then again I'm not sure of how proud of this post I am going to be...).

From September to the end of February, I was doing a paid internship at a media agency and a big part of my job was to work on their blogger/influencer network. This was by far my favourite part of my internship and although it's not a part of my current job role, influencer and content marketing is definitely an area of advertising I want to get back into in the future. However, in sourcing and researching bloggers for major brand collaborations, I think it made me more aware of myself as a smaller blogger - that I haven't produced nearly enough content as I would have liked to and that perhaps my blog is not as popular as I'd have hoped it to be. I know that a big part of blog growth comes down to determination, hard work and constant content creation - the time when I saw the greatest traffic to my blog was whilst I was posting twice weekly, but I have been unable to get myself back to that level. Working full time has made me feeling a little deflated and uninspired to write in the evenings and on weekends I tend to just want to relax (or feel sorry for myself binge-watching Netflix if I'm hungover). Essentially, I fell out of love with blogging.

I know that in the future I will never be a full-time blogger (even though I still think of it as the ultimate dream job), but I am okay with that. For now I just want to fall back in love with blogging. I thought I would achieve this by investing in my domain name and a new blog design at the beginning of this year, but alas along came job applications and I had no time to dedicate to Charlotte's Road. So although I have felt really guilty and disappointed in myself for not blogging, as my blog name suggests this is all about sharing my journey and so I guess that will come with ups and downs, and sometimes in waves.

Anyhow, now that I have settled into a new job and a bit more of a routine I am hoping to channel more creativity into the ol' blog. My current role isn't that creative and I do consider myself to be a creative person, so I'm kinda in need of an outlet for it at the moment.

I have always thought of this as predominantly a place for beauty content, but right now I'm more in love with fashion and so I'm hoping to get more haul and ootd type posts on here. I am also hoping to post a tonne of a lot more regularly again, so here's to hoping this post won't be a complete joke. However, if you do want to keep up with my daily life you can find me on Instagram at @charlotte_dickson or by clicking the pics from my feed below - where I'm a whole lot more reliable for producing content (and I've even been involved in a few sponsored campaigns on the 'gram during my blogging hiatus, which still seems a bit surreal).

Talking of Instagram, I feel like I could post a whole lot complaining about the current algorithms stifling small accounts, how it seems like people are no longer genuinely following others for the content they like, how it's just becoming a numbers game and don't even get me started on those cheating their following with bots and buying followers. Nonetheless, this blog post is probably moany enough, so I'll save that for another day.

So yeah, thank you for sticking around and with me on this little blog. I still can't believe there's a total of 505 of you following my content over on Bloglovin'! So think of this as a note to say that I haven't forgotten about you and a thank you to anyone that has ever read any post I have ever written - hopefully there's still a lot more to come from me.

If you're a fellow blogger have you ever felt guilty for not posting enough, or put too much pressure on yourself that you felt you just couldn't blog? Or have you ever fallen out of love with blogging? Do you still think there's space on the internet for smaller bloggers or those that don't post that regularly?
As always let me know in the comments below!
Cx

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