Monday, 21 April 2014

Things I'd Tell My Younger Self.

The lovely folks over at Legal & General are encouraging bloggers to share what they wished they'd been told when they were younger...  and boy, oh boy - the things I wish I'd known back then.

1.  Sort out your makeup.

From the age you first discover makeup 'til you reach the ripe old age of 20, you wear way too much of the stuff: your favourite look is too much black eyeliner and far too much foundation in the wrong shade... and all without blusher *shudders* - apparently you like looking pale and dead, then.
Tone down the makeup until you know (vaguely) what you're doing with it. You look better minus the raccoon eyes and ghost face, plus your skin will thank you for letting it breathe every once in a while... not to mention, your 23 year old self would not be sat here completely horrified.

2. One day, you'll learn not to care what others think of you.

As a teenager and young adult, you stayed in your shell through fear of being disliked. It's only when you go to University and reach your 20s that you'll realise you've spent far too much of your life trying to appease others, and you choose to stop basing all of your decisions (such as how you act, how you dress, how you speak... the list goes on) on what other people might think... seriously, who cares?! Ignorance (combined with not giving a monkey's) really is bliss, and those people that do judge you for being you just aren't worth your time.

 3. When it comes to friends, it's all about the quality, not the quantity.

Your friendship group will undergo some serious re-modelling throughout your young adult life, and in a few years' time, you'll be able to count your closest friends (FYI: a couple of you are missing from these photos!) across your ten fingers; there'll be less drama and 'girl politics' to deal with... and you'll be all the better for it.

4. Stop worrying.

Gurl: you are a worrier. You worry at school if people like you... you worry about leaving your school and going elsewhere for sixth form... you worry at sixth form about getting into University... you worry about leaving sixth form and home for University - that's an awful lot of worry, and worst part is, that's not even the half of it. When you get to your 20s, you'll have completely changed your attitude and you'll realise all that worry and stress was completely counterproductive. Chill out, you'll be fine.

5. Your mum is (annoyingly) right about most things.

All the things I've mentioned were things mum had already told you back then....
"Ambika, that's a lot of eyeliner," and "Ambika, your friends aren't very nice to you," ... along with. "Ambika, I really don't care what people think of me... you should be the same." 
You heard it... and you ignored her, you fool!
Listen to her now, and you wouldn't be sat here having to write out what you'd tell your younger self ... because she told you all these things at the time, anyway!

Whether you're a blogger or not, enter Legal & General's giveaway to win an iPad mini! Click here for more details.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Pull & Bear Basic Necklace.

A couple of weeks ago, I went all heart-eyed iPhone emoji over this Pull & Bear necklace... and a few minutes later, I'd somehow made my way through the online checkout and it was to be in my clutches within 5 working days... not really sure how that happened.

In all seriousness though, I actually needed a statement necklace to wear to a ball I attended a few weeks back... and having had a little browse in most of the high street stores, I'd been unable to find something purse-friendly.

I spotted the necklace on ASOS, and just couldn't get over the price - this lovely little number comes in at just £9.99 (I paid £7.99 thanks to a cheeky ASOS discount at the time!) and looks so much more expensive - personally, I find most cheap jewellery to have a rather unattractive yellow-gold finish which can make things look a little.... well, to be blunt, tacky. But this has a lovely soft, antique look to it, and really does look amazing on.

I've also worn it in the day-time with a Topshop coral blazer (no longer available, here's a similar one), cream long-line vest and black skinny jeans, and think it's a great little accessory to perk up an otherwise potentially boring outfit... it's currently out of stock on ASOS so keep it saved to your wish list and get purchasin' the second it's back.

The Pull & Bear Basic Necklace is available at ASOS and in Pull & Bear stores - click here to find your local one.

If you're interested in how styled my hair for the above photo, click here.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Currently Coveting #2.

It's getting to the end of my University term, which means my bank account is not exactly what you'd call brimming right now... which only seems to make me lust after more beautiful things.

Essentially, this blog post is pure torture for me - I hope you appreciate how difficult this was for me to write.

With the sun out to play for the last couple of weeks, I've been feeling a tad more springy... but you can probably tell that from my pastel-hued picks...

Currently Coveting #2

1. L'Oréal Paris Color Riche Quad in Eau de Rose (£7.99)
With my beloved Estée Lauder Raisins palette discontinued, I've been on the hunt for a suitable alternative, and think this budget-friendly L'Oréal Paris offering may just be the answer to my prayers.

2. F&F Cropped V-Neck Jumper (£14.00)
I think this pastel jumper would look great paired with a high waisted white pencil skirt and massive nude heels on a spring night out...

3. Zara Taylor Rose Water Opal Earrings (£20.00)
Do I really need a reason to want these? They're just so damn pretty.

4. ASOS Peach Midi Skirt (£30.00)
Once thought of as a little, shall we say, dowdy, midi skirts are making a huge comeback this season. Chosen in the right colour (like, say, peach) and accessorized the right way, they can look incredibly stylish.

5. Mulberry Primrose Bag (£1,250)
My mum and I spotted this tri-coloured Primrose bag at a Mulberry counter a few weeks ago...  we requested the price and had the shock of our lives. It adds up to about 4 months of rent for me, ouch.
It goes without saying that this is probably not an item I will end up buying for myself, but it sure is one I can lust over.

6. Topshop Skinny Tailored Blazer (£48.00)
I have a rather vast collection of blazers in my wardrobe but have a distinct gap where a blush-coloured one could be....

What do you think of my picks?

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Bigger, The Better.

Get your mind out the gutter people, I'm obviously talking about hair.

When I heard on the beauty blogger grapevine that L'Oréal Paris had launched a haircare range which claimed to create thicker tresses, I can't say wasn't all too fussed about trying it out for myself given that my hair is already somewhat bountiful.

Roll on a few weeks and the combination of my mother singing its praises and a TV campaign featuring my girl crush and I'd done a total 180.

I've been road testing the L'Oréal Paris Elvive Fibrology Shampoo*, Conditioner* and Thickness Booster* and can honestly say I noticed a huge difference in my hair in just one wash - in fact, the picture below was taken the first time I used the range... 

I'll just let that very picture speak for itself:

FYI: no texturising spray or dry shampoo in my hair as I'd run out of both.

The range has a really lovely scent to it, and having tried out the 3 products together, and seperately, I can tell you this range works best when you commit to the trio of Shampoo, Conditioner and Thickness Booster.

I was particularly intrigued by the Thickness Booster - this is a clear, serum-like substance which is mixed in with the Fibrology conditioner (and subsequently rinsed out) to amp up the power of the products.

"But how does it all work?" I hear you cry. Well, the range contains Filloxane, a technology created by those clever beauty buffs at L'Oreal - this ingredient penetrates the hair fibre and increases its diameter, and in doing so, actively thickens each and every strand... I was concerned it would leave my hair gritty and full of residue, but I've got no problems to report, and have found it to make my hair look healthy and nourished.

It all sounds like a big claim, but I can hand on heart say it's all true.

This stuff actually worked on my ridiculously thick hair, so if you've struggled with fine, thin hair then consider your prayers answered by the hair gods at L'Oréal Paris...

The L'Oréal Paris Elvive Fibrology Range is priced between £2.99 - £6.99 and available at Boots.

*PR Sample

Monday, 17 March 2014

The Mermaid Braid.

Most of my Saturday nights are spent curled up on my sofa in my pyjamas, eating copious amounts of chocolate and watching The Voice... wild, right?

As you might already know, I'm now exactly one year away from finishing my degree in Medicine, so as the current final year medics at my University have just finished and were having a swanky graduation ball to celebrate the occasion, I decided to crash it and make my Saturday night a slightly more glamorous affair than normal.

I'd had the dress, a floor length crimson number, hanging in my wardrobe for a fair while... but instead of accessorizing it with my normal mahusive Cheryl Cole-inspired 'do, I went for something a little different...

You are all aware of my slight girl crush on Blake Lively - I've always marveled over the beautiful mermaid braid she wore at the Green Lantern premiere, and decided this would be the perfect, minimum fuss hairstyle for me.

I first prepped my hair by washing and conditioning it with the L'Oreal Paris Elvive Fibrology Range*, a line which has been over fifteen years in the making, and promises to make your hair thicker-looking (it really does... but more about that another time). Having applied a heat protectant and dried my hair, I loosely curled it with my favourite Babyliss tongs to create a little texture, before finishing with a light spritz of L'Oréal Paris TXT Volume Supersizing Spray and giving it a little (technical term coming up here) 'zhuzh.'

Next came creating the 'do itself which honestly took all of five minutes. I followed this tutorial, but essentially this style is two smaller fishtail braids attached to one larger, looser one... it's so quick and easy, but really looks as though you've spent hours faffing around and perfecting your locks to create the perfect mermaid braid.

The only difference with my take on this 'do is that I skipped out on the decorative hair accessory because I decided to plump for a statement necklace (available here) with the dress and thought it could all get a little O.T.T. if I went for a sparkly clip too.

The only downside is that this look is only really achievable on those lucky ladies with long, thick hair... sorry if that's not you, but hey, there's always extensions if you fancy cheating it!

What do you think of this hairstyle?
*PR Sample
Photo of Blake Lively by StyleCaster Media Group

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