Sunday, 26 July 2015

Blog Closing!

Hi guys! I'm sure you will have all noticed that I've not been updating very often on here lately. Well, that's because I have decided to close down Broke Student Fashion and begin a new lifestyle-focused blog over at Strange and Wonderful Being. 

There's a lot of reasons for this, but mainly I just feel as if I've somewhat outgrown this blog and it's content focus. I didn't feel that it was fair to my current readers to entirely change everything about it, so if any of you are interested in following me over to my new lifestyle focused blog I would really appreciate it. I'm also starting up an online Zine, more details of which will be shared over on my new platform as well as my regular social media. 

I'm so grateful to everybody who's read this blog and followed me along the years, and I hope many of you will continue to stick along as I grow and develop my content :) 

- Goodbye! XOX

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Favourite Spring Makeup Trends

So far this week I have been outdoors without a coat on twice. I baked a quiche and ate it with salad, and swapped my Tuesday evening wine for some ridiculously lovely elderberry cider concoction. I'm sorry guys but I'm calling it - it's officially springtime in the UK now. And that means I'm going to have to be dragged kicking and screaming away from the make-up counters, because damn are there some absolutely lovely trends arising for this coming season, and I want to try each and every one of them out if I can. These are some of my favourites....

BIG Eyeliner

From Prada to Marchesca to Saint Laurent, cat eyes sticking around, and not just the fussy, flicky, 'need ten hours and to superglue my elbow to the table to achieve' sort of ones. These are thick, chunky, heavy handed, the type that sort of look like you could do left-handed with a marker pen and still wake up the next morning looking flawless even with it smudged halfway down your cheeks. They're my sort of eyeliner for sure and I am sticking with them. Interesting to see a fair amount of lower lid eyeliner too, which I've always loved, but rarely see as often nowadays. 

Bright Eyes

Not just graphic, it seems, but actually glowing, there's so many beautiful shades of eyeliner and eye shadow on these catwalks it's amazing. I'm sort of loving the iridescent white combined with glowing skin and pink lips for an ethreal kind of look, and I dare you to show me a person who doesn't look fabulous in electric blue eyeliner. I think some of these looks would be great replicated using eye shadows such as the Maybelline 24 hour colour tattoo, or Sleek's i-Divine Ultra Mattes palette, which is around for less than a tenner. 

Bare Lips

I am a big lipstick lover, but let's be real - Spring time at my work is when the ice cream van starts to visit, the air con fights valiantly against my best hydrating lipsticks, and more often than not my carefully applied 7am mouth ends up looking like a patchy, smudged nightmare by lunchtime. These slap on lipbalm and go looks are kind of refreshing for a change, and i'm definitely going to be forgoing my beloved nudes and pinks a few times to give this a try. My favourite non-glossy, non-tinted lip balms for a look like this are Carmex (£2.69 in Boots, and very often found in Poundland), Nivea Essential Care (£1.65 in Boots) and my favourite, my good old Burts Bees - Less than a fiver for the little tin, it lasts absolutely forever and you can actually feel it working. 

Brows On Parade

Where anything at all has been done to brows, it seems, they've just been neatened a bit and made darker, with most left just completely natural and messy looking. Cara Delevingne and the like have really made a massive impact here, and as someone who over-plucked a lot as a teenager, I couldn't be more thankful. I draw my naturally light brows on most days, but i'm glad that their natural thickness and all-round vigor is being appreciated as well. 

...And one i'm not so keen on

I'm sorry Vera Wang, but the only people pulling off lilac and plum eyeshadow under their eyes are actual supermodels. The rest of us don't tend to need much help in looking like we haven't slept properly in days - we can manage that on our own!

All things considered, I feel like this year's looks seem more pushy, more graphic than your typical spring pastels and bare faced freshness, and I really like it. It's strking a balance between au naturel simplicity and high-impact, low effort colour splashes, which feels decidedly modern and refreshing. I'm looking forward to giving some of it a go, especially some graphic eye looks in bright colours, and prying away my lipsticks and lipglosses for a few days. Hope you're all doing well and enjoying this little burst of warm weather while it lasts, and I'll see you all soon.

- Natalie XOX

Friday, 3 April 2015

April Goals

Spring time! Easter time! Bank holiday weekend! Marginally less rain outside! What's not to love about April? It got to TWELVE degrees outside yesterday, like seriously. That's an event in the north. March was a great month for me overall, except health-wise, which is why I haven't been around as much. Still, i'm plodding on, and hoping to start thriving rather than just surviving sooner rather than later with some new tablets and a couple of upcoming hospital appointments. I had a great time on my spa weekend, did some good deeds for Lent, planted some lovely things in the garden, and tried my best to keep in touch with friends and family far and wide, although I could have done a little better in that probably. This month? I'm storming ahead. 

  • TREAT - I'm going on a trip to London this month! I'll be watching Les Miserables at the west end, meeting up with a friend and doing some touristy type things. I want to eat great food and enjoy being with friends and family in a really cool city that I hardly ever get to visit. So excited.
  • CRAFT - I've been seeeriously neglecting my crafting lately, but I'm aiming to get back into it soon. I want a knitted patchwork blanket by next winter if it kills me, and I've got an overflowing basket upstairs of clothes that need sewing or mending in one way or another. It's as good a way to spend a lazy evening as any, and since I can do most of it while watching Netflix I've got no excuse really. 
  • FAMILY - I'm visiting my family not once but twice this month, just because, and they're hopefully coming down to see me as well. Easter in my home was always a time for new clothes, chocolate, and a whole weekend spent with loved ones, and i'm glad to be able to keep that up this year. 
  • SAVE - This is a less fun one, but a necessary one. I've been lucky enough to receive a small raise at work and a bonus lately and I'm so grateful for it, but i'm trying to put as much as I can away for when we might need it most. Supporting yourself is hard but it gets so much harder when you get down to nothing and realise you've nowhere else to turn, so i'm trying my best to build a solid foundation. 
I've got high hopes for April, readers, so it better not let me down. Me and my kitten are spending today cuddling and tidying up, before I meet up with my partner later for a bit of shopping and a walk around town. Hope you're all having great days and great months so far, and best wishes for the next four weeks!

- Natalie XOX

Sunday, 22 March 2015

What I Wore: Spa Weekend in County Durham

Hey all! So recently I had a gorgeous mini weekend away with my boyfriend at The Manor House Hotel in County Durham. I love Durham so much, i've been quite a lot of times having grown up so close in Newcastle upon Tyne, and it's such a pretty place. It was a fairly good weekend, very windy, but we managed to do a lot of shopping and have some nice walks around the village where we were actually staying, about an hour out of the city.

This was the first time i've ever been to a spa - I know, right? Well I can confirm it's certainly not going to be the last time, because I have obviously been missing out. Although just small, the hotel has a pool, gym, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi, as well as offering a range of treatments. Our room was nice, just across from the main building in the courtyard - the hotel itself is amazingly interesting, as it is drenched in history. The main bit of the building used to belong to Henry VIII as one of his northern hunting lodges! It's been lovingly preserved throughout whilst still having all of the modern conveniences, and has a really lovely welcoming atmosphere. There was a wedding fair on the weekend that we stayed and I couldn't help but think that it would be a really, really special place to get married.

Left - Floral Blouse from Primark, Statement Necklace from New Look, Jeans from New Look 

Center - Top from H&M, Khaki stretch jeans from River Island 

Right - Dress from New Look, Tights from Primark, Ballet Pumps from Brantano Shoes

As well as exploring Durham, we took a nice long walk around the area, and had dinner in the hotel restaurant which was just amazing. In the spa itself we both enjoyed a swim and a steam both days we were there, and I opted to have a facial. This was really strange but really nice - i've not really experienced someone else washing my face for me in quite a few years! The girl was lovely though, and chatted away to me while she exfoliated, smoothed and massaged my face, giving me skincare advice and asking questions about my blog. The products she used were almost exclusively Kaeso ones, which wasn't a brand I'd come across before, but they smelled and felt lovely. A quick google tells me that they use all natural ingredients and that all products are free from Parabens, Sulphates, Propylene Glycol and Mineral Oil, which can only be a good thing really. My skin felt thoroughly calmed and soothed for a good two days afterwards, and I think it'd be a really nice thing to have done before a special occasion, or even just as a general pick me up on a bad week.

I hope you're all having a lovely Sunday and i'm sorry this post is later than expected! I'm well aware i've been a bit absent this month, between health issues, work and visiting friends I've hardly had a minute free, but i'll be back this week now. Enjoy your weekends and may you have a great week ahead! Almost April already, can you believe it?!

- Natalie XOX