As a student who is trying to limit their clothes shopping habits, I love creating different looks and outfit combinations using the clothing that I already own. My wardrobe is far from small, so this is a great way to come up with some unique looks rather than styling an item in the same way every single time, or spending a fortune on new pieces that I don't need.

In March, I wrote a blog post about how to style a slogan t-shirt for any occasion, so I thought I'd do a follow-up and show you some of the different ways that I'd style a sweatshirt. Since 2020 has felt like a never-ending lockdown where we've been living in loungewear, I was eager to step out of this comfortable attire and style a sweatshirt in some different ways instead. Keep reading to see what looks I created!

Layered over a shirt dress

One way to easily style your sweatshirt and look like you've put more effort into your appearance is to layer a shirt underneath. You could totally do this with a crisp white blouse and pair it with jeans, but I thought a flannel shirt dress would be a nice change. This is incredibly comfortable and easy to throw on yet looks like you've put some more thought into your outfit. I also love the look of the collar peeking out from underneath. Although I styled this with bare legs, I think it'd look equally nice with a pair of tights and boots to add a layer of warmth during the winter.

Paired with a pleated maxi skirt

Not only are pleated midi and maxi skirts really on-trend this winter, but they're one of my favourite items of the season. If you're like me and prefer wearing skirts over trousers then this is ideal, especially if you don't want to have your legs on show. Pairing a sweatshirt with a skirt like this instantly makes your outfit feel dressier and completely different to the usual leggings or gym wear combos. I think this would look gorgeous with some biker boots or even a pair of trainers to complete the look.

Mom jeans and roll neck

I feel like this is the way that most of you would feel comfortable styling a sweatshirt, but surprisingly this was the furthest from my usual outfit choices! I don't wear jeans that frequently in the winter, but I have to admit that mom jeans are an incredibly comfortable yet stylish way of wearing them that is great for if you've been living in joggers for the past few months. Since the jumper was already quite baggy on me, as are the jeans, I decided to tuck it in to create a more 'thrown together' casual vibe, which I really like. I also added the roll neck underneath both for an extra layer of warmth and to add a bit of interest to the outfit, since I felt like something was missing.

Swap the jeans for some smart trousers

I love wearing tailored trousers as I personally find them quite flattering and they look like you've put in more effort than just wearing jeans. Although this is the only difference from the last outfit, I feel like it has been completely transformed and creates a very different overall look. I tucked in the sweatshirt again so it didn't drown me and detract from the trousers, and honestly, I really like this overall outfit despite it being very simple. I know that this ended up being quite monochromatic, but I think a pop of colour here would also be amazing!

Underneath a floral mini dress

Ditsy print dresses are really my jam, so an outfit like this one was a must for this blog post. Normally with a dainty dress like this, I'd wear a t-shirt underneath or perhaps a jumper over it so it looks like a skirt, but I instead decided to have my sweatshirt underneath. This is the perfect balance of girly and casual that'll keep you warm this winter, and I can guarantee if I was still going to university in person it'd be easy to wear outfits like this that I'd be throwing on. Yet again, tights and boots would be the perfect finish for this if you're not brave enough to embrace the bare legs this winter.

So these are some of the ways that I'd style a sweatshirt! It was honestly so much fun creating this blog post and trying on a variety of existing items in my wardrobe to create these looks, and hopefully, they've proved that sweatshirts have much more potential than just as a loungewear or gym item. I'd love to know which outfit is your favourite or if I've inspired you to create any pairings, so make sure you leave a comment and let me know!

October was a very busy month for writing articles - I think 12 in total is pretty impressive considering I balanced this with my university work and editing for my student newspaper. Since you guys are always really interested in hearing what pieces I've been working on and I enjoy sharing my passions, I thought I'd do another article round-up and give you a behind the scenes glimpse into all of my pieces published in October!

The Mancunion

Your winter wardrobe staple based on your zodiac sign

Our horoscopes have a lot to say about us, from personality traits to our compatibility in a relationship, but have you ever thought about letting your star sign dictate your wardrobe? Read more...

Many people religiously follow their horoscopes and strongly believe in their predictions and personality traits. I went through a phase a few years ago of reading my horoscope daily (purely out of interest, I never quite believed in it) and while there were times that it was scarily accurate, there were others that felt miles from the truth. I thought it'd be interesting to put horoscopes to the test and let them pick out a clothing item for each star sign that was their 'perfect' addition to their winter wardrobe. This was an enjoyable article to create, and it was interesting to see what clothing my horoscope dictates that I should be waring.

Appearance in the age of Zoom: How to dress for a virtual class

Following The University of Manchester’s decision to suspend face-to-face teaching, students have become increasingly familiar with Zoom classes and virtual learning. Although we’ve quickly gathered the online etiquette of muting the mic when you’re not talking and not joining a lecture late (that bell sound can become very irritating), there’s one thing we haven’t quite cracked – what do you wear to a virtual class? Read more...

As my university made a decision to transition to online teaching, I thought it'd be interesting to look at our fashion choices and the new styles that the pandemic has enabled. With an increase of Zoom calls and virtual hangouts, I wanted to gain a consensus of whether students were putting in minimal effort and rolling out of bed in loungewear or dressing up to impress for their online classes. It was also very insightful chatting to some students about their approaches to fashion and beauty during the pandemic.

Style saviours you never realised originated from black communities

Diversity in fashion is an ongoing battle – many fashion houses still favour Caucasian models and social media is largely whitewashed, despite widespread campaigns for equal representation. Black people have made massive contributions to the fashion industry and are to thank for some of our favourite styles, yet many people are unaware of this. Don’t believe me? Well, how many of these iconic trends did you realise we owe to black communities? Read more...

October was Black History Month, and I really wanted to pay homage to that, yet I'm very aware that as a white female, I don't have the experience or ability to speak on behalf of this community. I decided to go down a different route and instead explore some inventions and popular fashion trends that we owe to black people. I loved having the opportunity to highlight some iconic looks and fashion creations that black people are responsible for yet a lot of people might not be aware of, and I also learned a lot while writing this article. Spoiler alert - did you know that hoop earrings, the hairbrush and acrylic nails all made the list?

The Manc

The Manchester skincare brands treating 'maskne' during the pandemic

Everyone gets bad skin from time to time. Whether it’s due to hormones, stress or an unhealthy lifestyle, a sudden burst of blemishes can function as a reminder that we should be kinder to our skin. But the newest influx of breakouts is completely out of our control: ‘Maskne’. A hybrid of the words ‘mask’ and ‘acne’, this skin invasion is caused by the heat and friction produced by regularly wearing a face mask. Read more...

Maskne has been the bane of everyone's lives since the beginning of the pandemic, and I've definitely struggled with my fair share of it. Rather than letting it take control, I thought I'd write an article about how to beat these blemishes with the help of some Manchester skincare brands. Not only was this a great opportunity to write about skincare (which I don't often do) and share some local makers, this post also received a lot of traction online, so hopefully it helped you guys out!

Ginger's Comfort Emporium launches new autumn-flavoured ice cream menu

The days of enjoying ice creams in sunshine soaked parks might be gone for now… but that doesn’t mean sweet treats are off the menu in Manchester. Read more...

I'm a sucker for a sweet treat and ice cream is one of my (many) favourites, particularly in the warmer weather. However, I wrote this article to share some cool and creepy Halloween ice cream creations to prove that this doesn't have to be a summer dessert. Ginger's also sell some unreal ice cream flavours, including apple crumble and s'mores, that had my mouth watering the entire time I was writing this piece.

Introducing Kay Lou Klub, the awesome brand launching Manchester's mental health movement through clothing

‘You are more than enough, and we are more than just clothing.' Kay Lou Klub doesn’t create ordinary clothes – they are clothes with courage. Read more...

One of my favourite things about writing for The Manc is having the opportunity to showcase some incredible local businesses that are really working hard to make a change. Kay Lou Klub is one of those, as they are actively using clothing and online workshops to combat the stigma surrounding mental health and encouraging people to speak out. It was incredibly eye-opening chatting to Kay and I'm a huge fan of what she does, so creating this article was potentially my favourite from the whole month.

The must-visit Manchester boutiques for Halloween this year

Halloween may be very different this year, but that doesn’t mean our costumes have to be. Whether you’re holding a COVID-compliant spooky garden party or going to Manchester’s immersive Halloween drive-in theatre, it’s important that you look the part. Read more...

Halloween was a bit of a bittersweet occasion this year as many of the usual events couldn't take place (not to mention it was the day that lockdown 2 was announced). However, for the people who still wanted to dress up at home or have a family party within their household bubble, I thought it'd be nice to share some of the best locations to find a last-minute costume. Manchester is home to some amazing fancy dress boutiques that deserve more recognition, and hopefully, this article was helpful for people still attempting to celebrate Halloween this year.

This Manchester-based menswear start-up is offering a free shirt to all new subscribers

Look the part, be the part. Even though many of us are back working from home, getting dressed in style can play a big role in productivity. Whether you’re returning to the office, grabbing a bite to eat or trying to look professional via Zoom call, a fashionable shirt is essential. Read more...

The pandemic has completely revolutionised how businesses are operating, and one local example of that is The Shirt Society who set up a menswear subscription during lockdown. While office life may feel like a distant memory, many people are still trying to look professional and feel productive whilst working from home, and this service can hopefully assist with that. The team at The Shirt Society contacted me to work on this article and I definitely enjoyed creating it, even if it was a little bit out of my comfort zone as it was my first time writing about menswear.

Classic Football Shirts: The Manchester brand revolutionising the sports fashion industry

There’s a shop on Deansgate that’s a mecca for football memorabilia. It’s called Classic Football Shirts – and it’s the proud owner of the most diverse, exciting and prestigious collection of sports clothing available anywhere in the city. Read more...

If any of you know me, you'll be aware that I'm really not a football fan. However, my exception to this rule was when writing about Classic Football Shirts, which are an amazing Manchester brand curating the country's largest selection of vintage and classic football jerseys. It was really interesting to learn about the journey of two students interested in football and how they managed to completely take over the football memorabilia market, and chatting to them about their ventures definitely opened my eyes to a side of sports I wasn't aware of.

The bucket hat, a Mancunian staple, is returning as a winter fashion trend

Bucket hats may be associated with boozy festivals and summer picnics, but little did we know that this accessory would be the hottest new trend for this winter. Read more...

I wrote an article a few months ago all about bucket hats and how they're a Mancunian style staple, so it was only right to follow up on this with a winter edition. This article was prompted after I bought a cosy bucket hat in Primark and realised that this festival essential is now one of the hottest trends for winter. It was another fun article to create, although I did have to resist the temptations of ordering all of the fluffy hats that I discovered!

Meet Eighth Day - the co-operative making sustainable beauty accessible to students

In the heart of the bustling student quarter on Oxford Road, a very different kind of venue has taken root: An independently owned, eco-friendly food shop and cafe. Read more...

Eighth Day is positioned in the middle of my university's campus and was directly on my bus route to and from work, meaning I frequently passed by this sustainable store with curiosity. After chatting to the team, I discovered that they've been Manchester's go-to source of vegan food and eco-friendly products for years now, and more recently they have delved into sustainable beauty options. They also have a vegan cafe that looks absolutely delicious, and I'll definitely be visiting for lunch once they reopen.

Your Coffee Break

The realities of starting a blog - my experience after 6 years as a blogger

For many people, being a blogger instantly sparks stereotypes of constantly jetting away on holidays and receiving gifts in the mail, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Daisy, who started her blog entitled By Daisy Bradbury in 2014, speaks about the reality of being a blogger and the common misconceptions that people may have. Read more...

It's not often that I get the opportunity to write for somewhere other than The Manc or The Mancunion, but October presented this opportunity that I couldn't turn down! I started my blog in 2014 and so by this point, I feel a bit like a seasoned pro, and so I'm well aware of the stereotypes that people may have and the impressions that simply aren't true. It was really interesting chatting to Your Coffee Break about the realities of being a blogger and delving into the behind-the-scenes facts that people may not know or realise, and I was also able to call upon some of my favourite bloggers (and friends) to assist with this one.

I hope you enjoyed getting a sneak peek into all of my articles that were published this month - make sure to let me know which is your favourite!

When I started my degree, I never expected that I'd spend my final year as a virtual student. The pandemic has caused my university to suspend all face-to-face teaching until the end of this year, meaning I probably won't be on campus until after Christmas. Pretty much everyone who I've spoken to has said that they're unhappy about this change and would much rather attend classes in person if the virus wasn't around, but I'm in the small minority of people who actually enjoy and somewhat prefer online teaching! If you're school or university is online this semester and you're struggling with this change, keep reading to hear my advice on making the most of it and staying productive in these strange circumstances.

Make a work schedule, then don't be afraid to break it

I know this sounds contradictory - why would you need to make a schedule if you're going to ignore it - but just hear me out on this one. When you're working from home, it can be easy to lounge around without getting any work done, so a schedule helps to stay on task and give your day some structure. I like to make mine based on an actual day of university, leaving breaks for meals and sticking to the average hours I'd work on a normal day so that it doesn't feel overwhelming. 

Having said that, don't feel as though this timetable is set in stone. Working from home allows you to be flexible and do things at your own pace, so you're free to do a lecture at midnight or have a lie-in if that's what works best for you. Although a schedule is a good framework to get you started, don't be too hard on yourself if you need an afternoon off or want to shuffle a few tasks around, especially when working during the middle of a pandemic.

Have a few different workspaces to switch between

Since all of your work will be done at home, it's important to have a comfortable and clean workspace that you can use without getting distracted. There are no set rules for this - I'm probably my most productive when working from my bed, despite many people advising against this - just go with whatever works for you. It's also helpful to have everything you'll need nearby so you don't feel like you're getting up every 5 minutes.

Another thing I'd highly recommend is having a few different workspaces that you can alternate between. When you think of university or school life, you're constantly moving between different classrooms, lecture theatres, libraries and study spaces, so you don't want to feel confined when working at home. Also, a change of scenery definitely helps to clear your mind and gain a fresh perspective. If this isn't possible within your house, perhaps consider working from a coffee shop or local library if you feel safe doing so.

Try and incorporate some off-screen time into your routine

This is definitely something I still need to work on, as I practically live on my laptop, but staring at a screen for long hours every day really isn't good. It's difficult to avoid it when all classes and assignments are online, but I'd encourage you to take a bit of time out of your day to do something that doesn't require a screen. I've been catching up on university reading during this time so that I'm still being productive, but you can do anything from making hand-written notes, playing with a pet or practicing a hobby.

Make time for exercise and getting some fresh air

Sitting inside all day whilst working can quickly become claustrophobic, so it's important to go outside and get active if possible. Although I wouldn't usually exercise on a normal university day, I've really found myself missing little things like my morning walk to the bus stop where I could get some fresh air and listen to music. I've made a conscious effort over the past few weeks to walk to a local park for a bit of fresh hair, even if it's only a couple of times every week, and I've definitely felt the benefit of doing so. 

Block any social media on your phone

As ruthless as it sounds, sometimes desperate actions need to be taken. If you're the type of person who knows you'll end up scrolling through TikTok all day, don't let yourself be controlled by this. There are lots of apps available that will block you from using your phone for an allotted period of time, my favourite being Flora, and it definitely makes you feel successful when you complete each task.

Although I don't always use apps like this as I'm quite good at getting off my phone and eliminating any distractions, there have definitely been days when I needed to knuckle down and this was a great way to focus without receiving notifications every few minutes. There's also an option to attach your bank account so that you'll have to pay if you check your phone during the allotted time if you'd like to make it more interesting!

Know when it's time to stop

It can be really difficult to find a work-life divide when studying from home, as there's no longer the end-of-the-day feeling where you return home and relax. It's easy to get carried away with working long into the night, but remember to take breaks and give yourself some time for relaxation as well. 

This is definitely something I need to work on more, as I'll quite often work late into the evenings, and working from home has definitely made this harder. If you're like me and struggle to switch off at night, I'd recommend giving yourself a time that you're not allowed to work beyond, or doing something else in the evening that is productive but not study-related (for me this is often writing articles or doing things for my blog).

If your university or school has also continued with online classes this year, I'd love to know what your study tips are, so make sure you leave me a comment!

Writing articles is something that is slowly taking over my life, but honestly, I absolutely love it! I really want to mention my writing and journalism on my blog more often, since this has become a huge part of my life over the past few months and I dedicate a lot of time towards it. So what better way to do so than by starting this new series? Every month, I will be uploading a round-up post of all of my articles so that you can see what I've been writing and give some of them a read if you're interested! Without further ado, let's dive right into it!

The Mancunion

5 unexpected fashion trends to hit the streets of Manchester this autumn

The ever-adapting nature of the fashion industry, from high street to high-end luxury has always had the potential to throw a curveball and strange cut into the fabric fancy and Manchester is no different, particularly in our new socially distanced scenarios. Perhaps its lockdown-induced boredom causing us to be more creative with our outfit choices, or could it be an eagerness to venture out of sweatpants? Either way, there’s no denying that this season is bizarre and filled with unexpected trends, and some of our favourite Manchester-based brands are embracing the wondrous and wild side of the ready-to-wear. Read more...

As most of you already know, I am this year's Fashion Editor of my student newspaper, The Mancunion. This is such an exciting opportunity that I'm honoured to have, and so I wanted to kick off the year with a bang with my first article in this position. I feel as though there are lots of autumn trends posts online and sometimes it can become quite generic and predictable (we get it, berry tones and plaid are in style this season!) I wanted to create something a bit more adventurous and daring, so I decided to look at styles that are unexpected and bizarre, yet have been frequently spotted on catwalks and the streets of Manchester this season. This was a really fun article to create and it also allowed me to feature some of my favourite Manchester boutiques whilst creating it.

The Manc

Manchester's best vintage boutiques and thrift stores that you need to visit

The Northern Quarter may be a hub for vintage aficionados, but there’s actually much more to Manchester’s second-hand scene than meets the eye. Read more...

Although secondhand shopping has gained more popularity recently, a lot of people still struggle with vintage shopping and figuring out where to begin. Manchester has a diverse range of thrift stores, vintage boutiques and secondhand shops, so I decided to create this informative guide to help people discover which ones will be the best for them. It also allowed me to spotlight some amazing Manchester boutiques, which was an added bonus!

Meet the radical Manchester boutique fighting for change through fashion

Not all clothing lines are created just for style. Some have particularly ambitious aspirations. Take Hoyden, for example. This feminist boutique, whose name means 'boisterous girl', sells clothing that turns heads for two reasons. One, it's fashionable. And two, it's rebellious. Read more...

Hoyden is an empowering, radical brand that isn't afraid to speak its mind, so I was eager to find out more about this boisterous boutique. It was very interesting chatting to Olivia about her store, which can be found in Afflecks in the Northern Quarter. I really admire what she's doing and the pro-active messages that she's spreading using her platform, so it was very rewarding being able to showcase her work and give it more attention!

Beloved Manchester vintage store Retro Rehab is closing its doors with a big sale

Retro Rehab, the beloved local vintage store, is ending its 15-year residence in Manchester's Northern Quarter as it begins its transition to online shopping. Read more...

Retro Rehab is one of Manchester's most popular and renowned vintage stores, so to hear that they were closing their doors was a huge shock. It definitely puts into perspective the effects that the pandemic is having on smaller businesses, although it's not all negative as they will still be continuing their vintage journey as an online store. I reported on this for The Manc as it felt like a shocking and momentous event within Manchester's vintage community, but I'm still excited to see their future online!

The best independent clothing stores in Manchester that match style with sustainability

You don't have to choose between being stylish or sustainable anymore. These Manchester-based clothing brands are both saving the planet and your wardrobe. Read more...

Sustainability was a topic that was hot on everyone's lips earlier this year, but it seems to have taken a backseat with the virus. I'm a firm believer that this isn't something that we should be ignoring and so I decided to write this article to bring more attention to eco-friendly fashion options. I wanted to prove that sustainable clothing doesn't have to be bland or stupidly expensive, and you can actually find some really stylish and trendy pieces that are also ethical. There are so many Manchester-based boutiques that create gorgeous pieces that are sustainable and I wanted to showcase these, and hopefully, it's something that more brands will get on board with in the future.

This Stockport clothing boutique is offering a 'mystery bag' of clothes for £20

Susie's Boutique is Stockport's source for the latest styles - but their newest launch offers customers a blind date with a brand-new wardrobe. Read more...

I love the concept of a mystery bag of clothing - I think it's so exciting yet equally nerve-wracking to see what items you can get without choosing them, and it's a great way to try pieces that you wouldn't otherwise pick. I wanted to bring attention to a local business who are offering this, and they're also a really trendy and well-priced shopping destination with new styles being added to their range every week.

The Manchester fashion brand born in lockdown is launching a second collection

Grey Milk, the Manchester-based independent clothing brand born in lockdown, has launched a second collection just in time for autumn. Read more...

I became obsessed with Grey Milk since I first discovered their launch during lockdown and I greatly admire what Gwen has managed to achieve in such a short space of time. Her designing and creation of garments is incredible and deserves so much recognition, and it was really interesting delving behind the scenes of her new collection. This is autumn style reinvented and like you've never seen it before, but all of her pieces are absolutely stunning and I highly urge you to check them out!

I hope you enjoyed getting a sneak peek into all of my articles that were published this month - make sure to let me know which is your favourite!

Let's face it, masks have been an absolute pain for makeup wearers. Don't get me wrong, I think wearing a mask is incredibly important and I use mine all the time (probably more than I need to in all honestly), but they've completely changed how I apply my makeup. The biggest sacrifice in this has been my lip products - I have makeup bags full of gorgeous glosses that aren't getting the attention they deserve. And the real kicker is that, if I ever decide to wear one underneath my mask, the remnants are almost always printed on the fabric rather than on my lips. That was until I used the Flower Beauty Miracle Matte Liquid Lipsticks, however, and now I've finally found the lipstick and mask combo that I can trust. Intrigued? Well, make sure you keep reading to find out more!

I've had these Flower Beauty products in my collection for around a year now and I've adored them since the first try. Almost instantly, I realised that they're not drying like a majority of liquid lipsticks that I've tried, meaning my lips can have an effortless swipe of colour without looking dry and shrivelled (which is especially important as we approach winter).

Normally matte formulas are something that I steer clear from, so you can tell that these are good if I'm raving about them. But the thing is about these liquid lipsticks, opposed to other matte products that I've tried, is that they're comfortable; I don't think I've ever tried another matte lip product that has felt bearable on my lips, let alone luxurious like these do.

They're also not too liquidy (ironic really, since I'm talking about liquid lipsticks), which sounds like a bad thing but is actually perfect. There's no smudging, transferring or getting on your teeth - they lock in place quickly and stay that way for hours. Trust me, there'll be no more lipstick marks on the inside of your mask if you're wearing one of these.

Speaking of wear-time, these liquid lipsticks are impressive. When I test out a lip product I don't shy away from eating and drinking, as I want to give them a thorough test that covers all bases. The Miracle Matte Liquid Lipsticks tick all the boxes: they don't flake away or fade, and I can't say I've noticed the annoying lipstick marks on a glass when wearing them. They're also perfect for us low-maintenance girls who can't be bothered to reapply their lip products every hour.

I own these Flower Beauty products in 4 different shades - the perfect collection that will leave you satisfied for any look:

Bare Honey - a true nude done right, no foundation lips over here! It's a medium-toned shade that isn't too pink or brown like other 'nude' products I've tried and is the perfect everyday shade that I find myself constantly reaching for 

Nude Blush - a wearable, pink-toned nude that is ideal for achieving a rosy lip look. If you're someone who fears pink lipsticks and doesn't want something neon or bright, this is the perfect choice that is natural whilst also adding a subtle pop of colour

Scarlet Letter - every girl needs a trusty pillarbox red lipstick in her collection, and this is my one of choice. It's loud and in charge, so whether you're making a statement or celebrating this festive season you'll be drawing attention

Rosewood - this gorgeous shade is entirely dependent on your skin tone - on darker complexions this would act as a mauve-tinted nude, but on paler skin like my own this shade is a vampy purple tone that I'll be digging out this autumn

Overall, these long-lasting, luxurious lipsticks are an absolute essential in my makeup collection and are also completely mask-proof. I'd highly recommend checking them out as you (and your lips) won't be disappointed.

Many of you may know that journalism is something that I'm passionate about and would love to establish a career in, and so I have been interning as a contributing writer for The Manc's style section over the past few months. Not only has this been an incredible opportunity to gain more experience writing, but it has also given me a glimpse into the professional world of journalism while learning how to work effectively from home. I thought I'd share my top tips for staying productive and inspired during at-home internships for those of you who are also aspiring journalists looking to get started, so I hope that it's helpful!

Plan my week in advance
My week will often be filled with various other things aside from writing for The Manc, so scheduling my time is necessary. Even though my internship is quite relaxed with submission deadlines, I always try to do them as soon as possible and then plan the rest of my week accordingly. Although it only takes 2 minutes to roughly plan out what days of the week I'll be busy and which ones I'm free to work on articles, it'll save me a lot of stress later down the line. It's easy to feel like I'm in work-mode constantly when spending time at home, so I must plan effectively to ensure that I can meet deadlines whilst still being able to relax.

Choose areas of genuine interest and that spark passion to write about
Figuring out what I enjoy and bringing that to my work has made a massive difference for me, and this passion shines through in writing. As I'm not given a brief of what to write about and subsequently allowed a lot of creative control, I can quite often tailor my articles to specific interests and passions of mine. This is a massive help when I'm writing lots of pieces, as it never feels like a chore or burden when I genuinely enjoy the topics that I'm investigating.

Have an ideas bank to fall back on
When I'm pitching article ideas, I always try to think of things that are trending and related to Manchester (as that is what The Manc focuses on). However, it can sometimes be hard to think of various pitches each week, especially if I'm having a mental block, which is why I've created a massive list of ideas and topics that I can fall back on. This could be anything from a random trend that has become popular, a tweet or Instagram post that has inspired me or any random thoughts that could become an article. Not only are these useful to have when I need an extra idea or two, but quite often I find that an idea I wrote down a few months ago will now be much more relevant or have a whole new angle that I can explore. It's also worth hanging onto these, as the ideas I haven't used or The Manc have rejected can always be pitched elsewhere.

Lookout for new ideas and inspiration in my daily life
I'm always thinking about ideas for potential articles, regardless of what I'm doing. Whether I'm scrolling through social media, reading fashion magazines on my phone, going shopping or just observing what people are wearing when I'm out, my mind is creating possible pitches. A lot of my ideas have hit me when I've least expected it, so it's beneficial being alert and ready for any inspiration to come your way. Although I would be a bit cautious if you're reading a lot of magazine and newspaper articles for inspiration, as you don't want to end up copying their ideas by accident.

Divide my accounts
Following on from that, it's still important to know when to switch off. Whilst I'm always subconsciously making observations of trends, sometimes it feels good to step back and not have this at the forefront of my mind while I relax. I've found it helpful to make new social media accounts for journalism where I can follow many different brands, celebrities, magazines etc., that way I can easily flick onto this when I'm looking for ideas but I can also scroll through my personal accounts when I'm trying to relax and wind down. I also highly recommend making the most of Twitter lists, as they're a perfect way to categorise tweets and gain some separation between work and life.

Keep in regular contact with colleagues and team members
If you're doing your internship virtually or working from home like I am, it's really important to stay in touch with people who you are working with. This will help you keep track of any important updates and feedback for your work, plus it also creates a community atmosphere where you can support each other and collaborate on ideas. There's nothing better than the feeling of achievement when you're congratulated for an article that performed well, and likewise, it's great to cheer on your teammates and support their pieces.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post, and if there's anything you'd like to know about my internship, feel free to let me know in the comments or on my social media!

I've been a beauty blogger since 2014 and have therefore seen many new trends and products come and go. While there have been some that I've jumped on the bandwagon with and loved, there's equally been quite a few that I've never got on board with. Whether this was due to being quite young and not wearing a lot of makeup or down to the fact that I tend to purchase mostly drugstore items, I recently realised that there were quite a few iconic beauty trends, products and techniques that I had missed out on. Today, I thought I'd put them all to the test whilst also creating a makeup look for you all, so I hope you enjoy this post!

Using a beauty sponge to blend foundation
I have been a firm brush user since the day I started wearing makeup, for no reason other than it was what I was used to. I always used a buffing brush and there was nothing wrong with my foundation application, so why fix something that isn't broken, right? It has only been within the past few months that I've started using a beauty blender to apply my foundation and concealer, and honestly I have no idea why I didn't do this sooner! It definitely gives a more natural, sheer finish that is perfect for everyday use, plus it's incredibly quick and easy to blend in my base products. It's a 10 out of 10 from me on this one, I just wish I would've succumbed to the hype sooner!

Using a liquid illuminator
There's something about liquid illuminators that have always intimidated me a bit - I was afraid that I'd look like a disco ball if I applied it as a base under my foundation, but had also heard people struggle to use them over the top of base products. It was only when I was sent one from Flower Beauty that I gave it a go and realised how gorgeous these products are! If you apply it under your foundation, a gorgeous radiance shines through that is dewy without looking sparkly, but my favourite is to tap a little bit onto my cheekbones to create a glowing from within look. This is definitely more natural than a powder highlighter and is perfect for creating an effortless makeup look.

Blusher on the nose
This is a technique that has always baffled me, and I'm still not 100% sure on it if I'm honest! I've always struggled with makeup rubbing off my nose after a couple of hours and leaving it looking red, so why would I want to create this tragic look when I'm trying to avoid it? I decided to give this another go using the Milani Luminoso blusher, which is an iconic product that I've only recently become obsessed with (I bought a paler shade of this when I visited New York a couple of years ago, but this one is simply stunning). I definitely think that less is more with this technique for me, and whilst it can create a cute button nose appearance, I worry that it'll just make me look sunburnt. I applied the tiniest amount and thought that it looked nice, but I'm still not 100% sold on this method!

Highlighting my whole face (not just the cheekbones)
Maybe it's because I often wear more natural makeup rather than opting for full glam daily, or perhaps it's my ingrained fear of looking like I've been attacked by glitter, but I'm always quite minimal when it comes to highlighter. Most days I won't apply any, but when I actually make an effort I'll stick to my cheekbones and inner corners of the eyes. Today, I decided to apply highlighter in other areas as well, including my brow bone, nose and cupids bow, and I have to say that I really like the outcome. This definitely helps to make my nose look more snatched and gives me more confidence in this feature that I usually hate, and overall my face looks very radiant and illuminated without being too over-the-top.

Using Morphe eyeshadow palettes
This isn't exactly a tip or technique but more of a cult product that I've only just started using, but I had to include it in this post. Everyone and their mother is obsessed with Morphe palettes, but I was very late to jump on the bandwagon as I've only owned one since January. My boyfriend bought me the 35V palette for my birthday and I've been obsessed with it ever since - it's now the only eyeshadow palette that I use. Not only are all the eyeshadows incredibly pigmented but they also blend like a dream; I can see why everyone loves them! I decided to go for a more colourful look today rather than my usual neutral tones as I wanted to be a bit more experimental, and I'm really pleased with the outcome!

Wearing false eyelashes
It's only been over the past year or so that I've really become a fan of wearing false eyelashes, and now I don't think there's any looking back! Although I'm not wearing them in these photos as mine are all quite old and crusty now (I desperately need to pick up some new ones), I couldn't live without them when doing a more glam makeup look. My fear was definitely in the application side of things, but after quite a few attempts I've definitely got the hang of them now!

Lining my lips
Lipliner is a step that I typically miss out, simply because I often just apply gloss and call it a day. However, more recently I've started lining my lips and I definitely think it's something I'll continue doing, both for the definition and the longevity of my lip products applied on top. Although I'm not one to overline my lips (I just can't seem to do it without it looking stupid or obviously fake), the little bit of added definition that this provides is definitely a win in my eyes.

What makeup steps or products are you late to the game with? I'd love to know, so make sure you leave a comment down below!

Hello everyone, long time no see! I have been incredibly busy since lockdown has started to ease and I honestly feel like the past month or so has been a whirlwind, but I've finally found a spare moment to write a blog post and catch up with you guys! I've been doing a lot of writing and career-related activities (how exciting, I'm finally starting to feel like I've got my life together) and also some forms of socialising whilst still being cautious in the pandemic, so make sure you keep reading to hear exactly what I've been up to!

Internship at The Manc
It's only been over the past few months that I really discovered my passion for journalism and recognised that it's a potential avenue to explore once I finish university, and so I was eager to get some professional experience in this field. As if by magic (thank you to the law of attraction, I'm crediting you) I was approached by The Manc to be a contributing writer for their fashion section! Let me just tell you, I have absolutely loved every second of this so far! Not only is it really insightful and beneficial gaining experience in pitching ideas and creating articles on a professional level, but the icing on the cake is being able to create content that I'm both passionate about and proud of. I've had a few of my articles published so far, so make sure you keep an eye out on The Manc's style section as I continue creating some exciting content for them!

Fashion Editor of Student Newspaper
Still along the journalism theme, I can officially say that I will be the fashion editor for The Mancunion (my university's student newspaper) for the upcoming academic year! This is honestly a dream come true, as it's something I put my mind to when I started writing articles for them but never envisioned that it would actually happen. I never thought I'd be eager for the summer holidays to end, but I really can't wait for the academic year to begin again so I can dive into this opportunity and work alongside all of the writers to create some amazing pieces for the fashion section!

University Results for 2nd Year
2nd year of university was definitely not the experience I expected - my final in-person class for the year was in mid-February due to a month-long strike followed by the campus closing due to the pandemic. I know people always say that university is all about the independent study but this was really intensified this year, except the lack of libraries and study spaces open made it even more difficult. However, I managed to pull through and came out with a first overall for the year, which I'm over the moon with! Although I really want to get a first in uni once I graduate, I didn't think it would actually be within reach and that I'd be able to get this in 2nd year, especially with the various other commitments that I have. I'm honestly so pleased, but now I just need to knuckle down ready for my final year.

New Hobbies
I'm quite lucky that my lockdown boredom was minimised due to being consumed with university work and essay submissions, but I still had my fair share of sitting in the house with no clue what to do. However, it's really helped me to discover some new hobbies and rekindle my enjoyment of spending time with myself. I've baked an unhealthy amount of cupcakes, continued teaching myself how to sew and also reignited my passion for reading since I can choose what to pick up rather than being restricted to academic texts. It's honestly been so refreshing to have this break and kind of pause from constantly being on-the-go, especially for my headspace and mental health.

Life Returning To Normal
Over the past few weeks especially, I've really enjoyed having some kinds of normality back in my life. Although it's still really difficult not being able to do things like give my grandparents a hug or properly spend time with my friends, it's been lovely reintroducing a few little pleasures back into my life. I've had trips to the pub, spent time in the park with friends, celebrated birthdays and graduations, went on shopping trips, spent time with my boyfriend and tried my hardest to have a little bit of enjoyment whilst still being extremely cautious and careful in the pandemic. I'm definitely still really wary and being precautious, but it's been lovely to feel like life is somewhat normal again.

I'd love to know what you've been up to lately and how the post-lockdown life is treating you, so make sure you let me know in the comments!