Friday 30 January 2015

Wishlist: Designer Cross-Body Bags

Recently, I have been seriously considering buying myself a really beautiful small designer cross-body bag, in the hope it would persuade me to carry only my absolute essentials on an average non-college day basis which would do wonders for my back, as I have to carry so many things to college with me. I thought you might like me to share with you my top 5 picks, and maybe you could leave a comment down below letting me know which is your favourite! I have put them in price order too, as ideally I don't want to be spending too much on a bag as I am trying to save for a car. The photos I have used for each item are taken directly from the brands' websites.

Rebecca Minkoff - Mini Quilted Affair ($195 $130 / £130 £86)
This bag resembles some of the classic Chanel quilted flap bags, without the price-tag! It looks as if it would be the perfect size for me and I have heard people speak very highly of Rebecca Minkoff bags. I'm not too sure that I'd be able to keep it as pristine as the photos however, which would be a worry for me!

This bag is so gorgeous and simple, and it is the perfect size to keep my items minimal but not too packed in. I love the matte black colour and gold detailing, and I think it would go with everything I wear. I already have a large bag by Ted Baker and I absolutely adore it, so I wouldn't mind adding to my collection.

I like how this bag is a little different and more interesting than a plain black colour, while still being quite muted so it will match my clothes. Again, it's the perfect size for a small bag, and would match my beloved rose-gold DKNY watch.

I've heard fantastic things about Kate Spade, and this bag is just about as classic as can be. I love the envelope style and the strap looks as it if would be extremely comfortable.

I had a difficult time choosing between the two colours of this bag, they were both so beautiful. I fell in love with this style of bag the moment I laid eyes on it; It's so simple and classing but the bow adds a cute touch. This bag is a little smaller than some of the others I have featured so I'm not too sure I could justify spending that little bit more in worry I may not be able to practically use it.

The price of this makes me want to cry because it's so gorgeous but so tiny. I absolutely adore it and know that I'll probably splurge on something like this or even something more pricey at some point in my life, but it's just not practical while I'm still a teenager and need to save for my future.

Please comment below to let me know your favourites, which one you think I should buy or with any other suggestions for designer cross body bags!

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Eat Your Way to Clear Skin!

As you know, I have had huge problems with acne in the past. To clear this up, I had to combine medication with cream treatments with, would you believe it, better eating. It makes sense when you think about it, what you put inside your body is bound to reflect on the outside. This doesn't mean you have to deprive yourself, but just try adding some of the foods below to your everyday diet and see if it makes a difference!
  1. Drink Water - I know this doesn't technically count as a food, but I can't stress the importance of drinking water enough. It hydrates your body and skin and flushes out toxins. It is usually recommended you drink around 2l of water a day. I used to struggle with fitting it in, but try to get into a routine of drinking water whenever you can; with a meal, while you're working and whenever you need a drink, and you will find it comes pretty naturally. Try to cut out any sort of fizzy drink and switch to water, as they are loaded with sugar and other nasties. Don't just think you'll be okay because you drink diet drinks; sometimes they can be even worse for your health and they can still inflame your skin!
  2. Cut down on junk, processed and sugary food - I'm not saying you should cut this food out all-together, but try to limit the amount you consume. Sugar quickly gets into your bloodstream and spikes your insulin levels, which can cause breakouts. Instead, get your energy by eating low-GI or "slow release" carbohydrates such as beans, pulses, porridge and wholegrains.
  3. Avoid dairy - There have been quite a few scientific studies which show associations with dairy and acne, so if possible you might like to try avoiding it and seeing the results. The hormone levels in milk may increase sebum production, which leads to acne. Personally, I drink almond milk and dislike cheese, so the only dairy I consume is yoghurt. Sine I made this change I have seen a reduction in my blemishes, but it could also be down to the other things I was doing to clear my skin.
  4. Get your 5-a-day - Vegetables and fruit contain powerful antioxidants and vitamins which are essential for clear, radiant skin. I would recommend eating a range of fruit & veg, try to eat a "rainbow" of different colours as they all have different properties. Sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, berries and oranges are all full of essential vitamins and also taste yummy too!
  5. Don't cut out fat - Many people assume that fat causes acne, as acne is often caused by excess sebum and oil clogging your pores. However, foods such as avocados, nuts and olive oil provide essential "healthy" fats which keep your skin smooth and soft. Your skin needs some moisture otherwise your body will think it is dry and will start producing even more sebum!
  6. Include Zinc - Zinc is involved in the normal functioning of sebaceous glands in the skin (which produce oil) and helps to repair existing skin damage. Foods high in Zinc include fish, lean red meat, wholegrains, poultry, nuts, beans (especially kidney beans), seeds and shellfish.

I hope these tips help you, please let me know in the comments if you plan to make any changes or are already seeing good results in your skin from eating well! Obviously for the best results you'll need to combine this with an appropriate regular skincare routine. I really enjoy writing about skincare as it is a topic very close to my own heart; when I had really bad skin I didn't have anywhere to go for reliable and experienced advice, and nobody understood how frustrating and upsetting it was. Let me know if you like my skincare posts and what you'd like to see in the future!

Sunday 25 January 2015


A few days ago, I hit 100 followers! Then yesterday I hit 150!!! This was pretty overwhelming as I have had my blog for less than a month, but it's so lovely to know that people are interested in what I write about as I enjoy running this blog so much, from taking photographs to researching products to interacting with other bloggers and readers! I wanted to do a giveaway that really incorporates all elements of what my blog is about, so I have picked 3 items I think represent Joie de Jodie. I didn't manage to decide on a suitable skincare item but I was part of a bloggers chat yesterday which made me feel really inspired to write more skincare posts as it's something a lot of people want to read about and I am really passionate about the topic due to my past with acne. So, if you stick around (which I really hope you do), expect to see more of that among my beauty/fashion/lifestyle ramblings!

1. W7 "In The Buff" Eyeshadow Palette (£9.99)
I am definitely an advocate of the natural make-up look for everyday wear and like most beauty bloggers, I lust over the Urban Decay Naked Palettes. In my opinion, this palette is an incredible dupe for the Naked 2 Palette, at less than a third of the price. The colours are almost exactly the same, they're even in the same order, and the pigmentation is also good. The palette also comes with a pretty high quality brush. I think this palette represents this blog for a few reasons; my love of natural nude eyeshadow and my ability to spot a bargain! Although I do spend money on high-end make up it doesn't mean you can't get fantastic quality for a fraction of the price; you just have to look in the right places! I will be reviewing this palette soon along with some other Naked dupes so keep your eye open for that post!

2. Monki Miracle Purse (£8)
Another topic I am very interested in is minimalist living. It's very important to me to have things organised, clean and neat. I hope to write more about this on my blog in the future. I have a LOT of store loyalty cards and other bits and pieces to carry around in my own wallet, so I have one similar to this Monki one where you can divide everything up and keep it organised and easy to access. I love the sleek matte black, too!

3. Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Perfection Lipstick - 01 (£5.49)
I think it's important to have a few statement items in your collection, whether it be fragrance, make-up or an item of clothing. For me, a classic red lip does the trick, complimenting my otherwise pale features, blue eyes and blonde hair, and adding a pop of colour to my otherwise monochrome outfits. This formula is one of my favourites, as it is very moisturising and lasts for hours. Red lips could represent me and my blog for a number of reasons; they are in my header and all of my branding but also for me they represent boldness and confidence. I find just the act of applying a coat of lipstick and "pulling yourself together" can sometimes make me feel far better if I'm a bit down, and it also brings emphasis to your lovely happy smile!

The giveaway will last from 25/01/15 to 22/02/15 so you have just under a month to enter. The widget is below for you to find out what to do - the more tasks you complete the more chance you have of winning as it will add more entries for you! The giveaway will also be open internationally as I am aware I have readers from a few different countries other than the UK. Good luck and I hope you like the prizes, thank you for following and supporting me!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday 23 January 2015

e.l.f Cosmetics Mini Haul (Cardiff Store)

Last week I popped into town to have a look at the e.l.f store. I had no idea it was the only actual store in the world - I just assumed they were everywhere as I have seen so many blog posts featuring them! The girls in there were absolutely lovely, they were so helpful about the products but also up for a general chat about make-up! They were happy for me to take photos in-store and said they love bloggers, so hopefully I'll be there a lot more often from now on!

I love the way the store is decorated and set out - it is very clean and organised making it easy to find anything you're looking for. I am a sucker for black and white, as we all know, so I fell in love with the store straight away, even before I had tried their products.

Another thing I loved was the way they do samples - they have a full sized tester out of every product so you can really get a feel for what you're buying, and they are attached with magnets so are really easy to look at and pick up.

I picked up a few things to try out, as everything was really reasonably priced and I was slightly worried the products wouldn't be very high quality. However, I was pleasantly surprised and will definitely be going back in to pick up some more items! Their website says they are "the home of low-cost, quality makeup" and it certainly seems to me as if this is true!

The first thing that caught my eye was this gorgeous baked eyeshadow. On the website it looks like a pale brown metallic colour, but in person it is actually the most beautiful copper/rose gold shade. The pigmentation is impressive and you get so much product for so little money. I'm going to go back and pick up more shades of this baked eyeshadow as they all looked amazing.

This is the only product I was actually disappointed with. I was attracted to it because it "lasts for hours" but I wouldn't want it to as it looked so bad on my lips! I'm not sure if mine was just a faulty product but the tip was extremely hard and hardly any colour came off it at all, and what did was patchy. I have read online that sometimes these dry out if they are kept upright too long, so I might try leaving it upside-down for a few weeks to see if that changes anything.

I picked up this lipstick on recommendation from one of the girls in store. I absolutely adore the colour with my complexion and after a few uses it was soft and easy to apply. The only complaints I would make is that the packaging looks extremely cheap and the pigmentation could be better, but I guess that is expected sometimes from such an affordable brand! Next time, I'm going to go for some of their more expensive formulas, so I'll let you know how they compare.

The store has tester bottles of every shade of nail polish, so I stupidly tested out almost every colour leaving me with very messy and sticky fingers by the end of my shopping trip! I thought both of these colours were lovely, I am currently wearing Desert Haze which is the perfect neutral shade for everyday wear, and I couldn't resist Copper as I thought it would go so well with the eyeshadow I had already picked up. These polishes are really great, I only needed two very thin coats to make Desert Haze completely opaque, and only one for Copper.

Here is a photo from my Instagram of me wearing Desert Haze.
I think that e.l.f is perfect for those starting out in make-up or those who don't have a huge amount of money to fritter away on products. Everything in the store was affordable but without compromising too much on quality. Personally, I will definitely be going back to try out some more items (I have heard fantastic things about their blushes) as well as using other brands.

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Exam Revision Tips & Techniques

As my AS level mocks are next week, I was pondering my revision methods and thought I'd make a post to share them with anyone who may be struggling, whether it be for their GCSEs, A levels or any other exam. I like to think I'm a bit of an expert on revision - I have done more than my fair share of exams and always prepare as thoroughly as possible, and I tend to do pretty well (although I do naturally have an insanely good memory). However, you can never know absolutely everything about a topic, so if you have any other tips I'd love to hear them in the comments!
  1. Make a rough schedule - Organisation is absolutely key in so many walks of life, and revision is not an exception. I emphasise rough because, if you plan out your revision to the last second and then a plan changes, you can often find yourself missing out on large chunks of time and it will throw everything off course. It is important to work out what topics you need to cover and how much time you have to spend on each, and allocate days when you'll have the time to properly cover them, but make sure it is lenient and open for adjustment. Prioritise subjects which you feel are most important, but don't neglect the rest.
  2. Start early - Firstly, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to prepare for an exam, i.e. don't start revising in the end of May for an exam in June (you might be surprised, but I know lots of people who do this)! Secondly, if possible start revising earlier in the day, when your brain is more active and you can't make any excuses about wanting to relax in the evening.
  3. Consider your revision environment - Make sure you are in a quiet room with all distractions out of the way. Have a glass of water and a snack with you, so you don't need to get up. Sit at a proper desk or table is possible, as you will be doing the exam at a desk so you need to get used to it (DON'T revise in bed - it can be bad for your back and you'll get distracted or tired quicker!). One thing I do is revise in different rooms, as if I stick to one place it can sometimes throw me when I have to recall facts in a completely different environment such as an exam hall.
  4. Do past papers - You need to get used to the structure of the exam and how examiners expect you to answer a question; do you have to write in full sentences or just state the facts? Doing a past paper and comparing your answers to a mark scheme is a great way of doing this, plus it's not quite as scary when you get the paper put in front of you in the actual exam as you know how it's set out! Sometimes exam boards use the same questions but re-word them, so it is definitely worth trying the questions. Make sure you set yourself the time limit you'd get in the exam, so you make sure you're pacing yourself correctly!
  5. Make visual aids - In college they call these "graphic organisers" but can also be mind maps or just brightly coloured posters with the information on. This is great for revision as you are writing things out which will help you to remember, then allocating it a colour which will hopefully create a link in your mind, then setting it out in a memorable structure.
  6. Revise effectively - You may think all you need to do is read over your classwork, but you will remember things so much more easily if you have written them out a few times, reinforcing them in your brain. If you don't like writing, try explaining a topic to a friend or relative in your own words - if you are going to make them understand it then you have to understand it first!
  7. Put things up around the house - It is useful to put your "graphic organisers" up on walls in rooms you spend a lot of time in, for example I have all of the French tenses up on the wall opposite my bed so I read them whenever I am in my room. For GCSE vocab learning, I labelled everything in my house with post-it notes and the French translation for what it was, even the floor and walls! Make sure you ask your parents first though, as my mum almost had a heart attack when she came home to religious quotes all over our kitchen for my RE revision!
  8. Take breaks - Every hour, give yourself a break of 5-10 minutes. This is proven to help your concentration levels as after a certain amount of time of straight revision, you absorb information much more slowly. On a larger scale, take a break of an entire afternoon to see your friends or do something else you enjoy - there's no point depriving yourself of all happiness for the sake of a few little exams!
  9. Don't worry - Try not to panic about your revision, and remember everyone else is in the same boat as you. In the grand scheme of things, exams only count for a miniscule amount as there are so many other possibilities and other chances in life. Don't stress yourself out over nothing, as this will actually be worse for your concentration. Before an exam, try to breathe slowly and deeply, and take a bottle of water in with you. Don't do any last-minute cramming on the morning of an exam - if you haven't learnt what you need to by then, you have no chance of understanding it and it will just put you off what you do know.
  10. Stop procrastinating - Turn off your phone, log out of social media and FOR GOD'S SAKE stop writing blog posts on how to revise! Get off your bum and put some work in!

Sunday 18 January 2015

The Body Shop Tea Tree range for Acne/Blemish-Prone Skin

Not long ago, I picked up a few things from The Body Shop from their Tea Tree range for blemish-prone skin. I have tried some of their products in the past which worked well for me and I wanted to rediscover why I liked them so much! The Body Shop tends to be a little more expensive than products you can just pink up from a drugstore and often come in far smaller sizes, but they are much higher quality and contain natural ingredients which will be better for your skin. I have been trying all of the products out for a couple of days, swapping out other items in my skincare routine so I could tell you my first impressions of them.

I think this is meant to be used instead of moisturiser at night, however it doesn't actually seem to moisturise my skin all that much. It is between a gel and cream in consistency and glides onto the skin easily. I have seen a visible reduction in redness since using this product, and the tea tree smell isn't too overwhelming. It is one of The Body Shop's bestsellers so I think, giving it a little more time to work its magic, it could be brilliant.

I have actually tried this product before, and I can remember being extremely pleased with the results. It used to my a staple in my skin care routine. However, now it seems to sting a little on application and hasn't been working as well as I remember, which is a shame. I am going to persist with using this just to see if I can get the results I did before, as I used to think it was a bit of a miracle product for clearing my skin.

This is another new find, and I bought it because I often get into the vicious cycle of having spots, covering them up with make up and then making them worse. This BB cream is AMAZING and I will be using it religiously as my base from now on - it gives high coverage with the first application, covering any blemishes or imperfections you may have, but it also doesn't break me out AT ALL. I haven't even needed to use concealer on top of this, it does such a good job! 

Tea Tree Oil (£7.00)
I couldn't go to The Body Shop without picking up one of the staples of my skincare routine! I have repurchased this again and again - it is great value for money and can also be applied directly to the skin, unlike some other brands of tea tree oil. You can use this in so many different ways including mixing it with your moisturiser, applying it directly to blemishes and putting a few drops in hot water to steam your face!

If you struggle with blemishes I would recommend checking out The Body Shop's range of Tea Tree products as they are some of the best quality, natural and affordable on the market. Plus, they work!