Monthly Memories | April 2018

Another month has gone by in a flash!  I just wanted to note that I am very proud I kept up with my three posts a week rota this month for the first time ever despite having exams and hope to keep this up.  I had an exam today by the way, and another one coming this week just to express my dedication to you guys. 

I don't have favourites for makeup because, as I mentioned before, I haven't been purchasing any beauty products but nearer my birthday I hope to acquire some to try and test out for you all!  Let's get on with the monthly memories.  This whole month I had spring break which, during your Masters in England, is not uncommon but it's been riddled with courseworks, group projects, and obviously studying for exams.  Nevertheless, I did relax (a bit too much probably) and here's all the cool things I did:

What I Watched I've been binge-watching medical dramas and, embarrassingly, got all caught up on The Good Doctor, The Resident, and Critical.

The Good Doctor is centred around an Autistic doctor and surgeon with Savonts Syndrome meaning he is extremely gifted in visualisation, memorisation, and keen attention to detail.  Without revealing too much, he faces prejudice, bullying, taken advantage of, and each episode breaks your heart in some way or another.  Arguably, he is the best surgical resident at the hospital.  It's a little less about the actual medicine and more his life-story but I do really love it.  It's on a season break now which is upsetting but I cannot wait given the cliff hanger it ended on.  

The Resident is an intense medical drama that discusses the politics behind a fictional hospital institution.  From what I gathered, a running theme in the show is how nurses have little power in comparison to doctors which is unjust and if you have built a very positive reputation, you have more flexibility in terms of bending the rules and getting away with malpractice.  This show will make you angry and frustrated.

Lastly, Critical is the first British medical drama I've ever seen that was recommended to me by my best friend.  This one is more about the medicine in a Major Trauma Centre that dabbles in politics but not to the extent of The Resident.  Hence, if you are keen about medical science and nail-biting cases from start to finish I highly suggest watching it but take note, when they are operating, the body's do look very fake in comparison to The Resident and The Good Doctor.

Favorite memory  For this month, it has to be seeing the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  It felt very surreal.  I've not met many famous people in my life at all, the only other person was Jeya Raveendran.  Just seeing the way they interacted with each other and their children was very humbling and they appeared to be a regular family.  Also, Prince William drives a Range Rover which is a fun fact.  Overall, I really used this month to spend time with my mom as I had time to give.  It made me realise how much I missed and enjoyed her company and if you're blessed to have a loving mom, remember to always let them know this everyday because we underestimate how much they yearn for our company, time, and the sacrifices they make for us behind closed doors.  

Who I loved  I have fallen in love with America Revere, her vlogs, and instagram.  I've actively been keeping up with her stories about preparing for the USMLE.  She keeps it very real in her videos where she discusses her highs and lows and the difficulties in studying.  Revere makes it apparent that it is hard work to work hard which I love considering many other vloggers in academics make it seem like it is very easy to do and every mark they get is stellar.  If you need motivation and a realistic outlook on what graduate school is like, I really suggest checking her out.

Her links:
Youtube: America
Instagram: AmericaRevere
Twitter: America_Revere

What I wore I've been branching out in terms of my style and recently purchased an adorable pair of boots from Dorothy Perkins which are black with a bow on the side for only £13!  I am a huge fan of bows and regret deeply throwing out all of them as I felt they were too 'childish' but thinking back now, only a fool would do that.  There are so many available on Etsy but I cannot bring myself to pay for shipping that is equivalent to the actual product price.  

You can find the boots here! The discount has gone up, however, so now they cost £20.  

What I ate As you may have gathered, I live with my mom and she has been making me this delicious salad with carrots, tomatoes, and spinach with mango dressing.  It's been a great way of forcing me to be a bit more healthy.  Which I am not. At all.  Otherwise, I've been indoors for a majority of this spring break.  

What I drank I went to a Lebanese place with a couple of friends after a revision session for some coffee.  I wanted to try something different and went for a Spiced Lebanese Hot Chocolate.  I thought it would be similar to Chai with the cinnamon and cardamom which it was but the flavour was a lot more subtle in comparison. However, it was a nice change to my normal lattes.

Where I went My mom and I had taken a stroll through Hyde Park and ended up visiting the Science Museum in South Kensington.  Because it's free, it was a must.  Although a lot of it was more catered towards children, I found it really enjoyable as I am such a kid at heart to the dismay of many.  My favorite exhibit was one which demonstrated the play on materials to make clothes.  For example, dresses out of Coke Bottles or shoes made of flowers.

What I heard For sure it has to be Illegal Weapon by Jasmine Sandlas ft. Garry Sandhu.  It's a really simple beat but it's epic for dancing.  It's a fun mix of house, trap, and atypical bhangra.

What I used One of my friends had gifted me with an Almond Milk and Honey Soothing and Restoring Body Butter by The Body Shop.  The scent of this is miraculous - it's not overpowering but it's enough if you wish to skip out on perfume.  

Random Rambles | Life in London

I thought it would nice to do a life update blog post, focussing particularly on adapting to London life.  As you may know, I am currently doing a Masters in Public Health in London which has taken up my spare time but I've enjoyed every second of it.  It's sad to think that my London journey may be coming to an end soon.  

Of all the counties I've resided in England, London has for sure felt the most like home and resonated with me.  Having always lived in cities in America, I've been accustomed to the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  Therefore, when I first moved to this country back in 2009, I was living in a very small and quiet town which was a huge culture shock.  I was in a very negative headspace and I felt so secluded.

Moving to Bristol was more of the city-life that I desired.  I remember loving going to the City Centre and Cabot Circus but never had that rush of excitement that occurred when going to London.  Even though London is underwhelming compared to the pictures or videos, it is the closest to what I desire for in the future.  Despite the rise in crime and extortionate costs of living, I can happily settle down here and live off of KFC (they do salads, it's fine).   

This past month has been spring break which I utilised to keep up with blogposts, binge-watch medical dramas (how does anyone watch The Good Doctor without crying in every episode?!), and spending a lot of time with my mom.  Oh, and studying of course.  I took my mom on a tour of my university campuses, walked through Hyde Park, shopped at Oxford Circus, and saw the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, Duke of Cambridge Prince William, Prince William, Princess Charlotte, and the new royal baby Prince.  I was surprised to see that Prince William drives a Range Rover. 

You are never bored in London, unless you allow yourself to be.  There is always something to do and places to go.  My personal favourites are South Kensington, High Street Kensington, and Wembley.  Who can pass up Saravana Bhavan? 

Oddly enough, I don't enjoy shopping at Oxford Circus as much as I had hoped.  Perhaps its because this seasons' clothes and trends are not up my alley.  Furthermore, bar Primark, Selfridges, and Debenhams, most of the stores are very small which limits options. I opted to just going on Romwe to order a birthday dress for cheap as all the styles in brick and mortars were either too revealing, with crazy cuts, or dull patterns.  If you know me, my style is very simple.  I don't like wearing too many layers which means an outfit or piece should aim to cover a majority of me or else I won't buy it.  Wearing cardigans, long sleeve tops, etc. under or over a dress or top tends to ruin the whole look.  In addition, black leggings do not match all dresses so I need to be mindful of what I buy.  

In terms of academics, I have two exams coming up in Health Economics and Health Policy.  Luckily, Health Economics is multiple choice but Health Policy is short answer questions which is harder.  Despite my growing fear for it, I didn't want to use it as an excuse to miss any blogposts this month as I've been on a role.  The one thing I dislike about university in London is that your exams will be located anywhere.  I need to travel quite far for Health Economics and I am openly bitter about it.   

After my exams finish, I will officially be starting my dissertation on May 3rd which is nerve wrecking and exciting.  I've had to learn a whole new statistical software, R, and concepts such as Time Series and Forecasting.  It makes it seem like my dissertation topic is about the weather but no, it's on vaccine coverage and vaccine-preventable diseases. However, this is the kind of thing I can imagine doing as a career so keep your eye out for blogposts about how I manage my time when working from home full time.  It's bitter sweet to think I am in the final term of my university career.  Furthermore, a majority of my course mates will be working from home or even travelling to third world countries so the likelihood of seeing them is very little.  I'll be having meetings via Skype or in person perhaps once a forth-night which limits my human contact a lot.  Although I am someone that prefers to be alone, it can get monotonous very quickly.   On the plus side, it means I can dedicate more time to my blog, my mom, and my health and wellbeing.  

Here is a little lesson I wanted to share that I learnt this past month.  Chase after your dreams and make your dreams a plan, not a goal.  Ever since I was little, I was constantly told that I'm average, dumb, no common-sense, and not smart enough.  Never ever sacrifice your dreams or ambitions anyone or anything because that regret will stick with you forever.  It's not too late to accomplish anything.  Your dreams are the most fulfilling and is the only thing that can complete you.  There is no expiry date on your passions.  If I could go back in time and tell my 17 year old self this, I am 100% positive they will be so proud of who they've become.  They suffered failure and felt it for years but it's not until this point in my life that I am more than grateful for the path I've taken.  Just because your journey is different from others doesn't make your journey wrong.  It makes it yours.  

P.S if you want more personal development blogposts, I write for Anay Patel on his blog here: 

I post on there every Monday so if you want some more insightful content I highly recommend checking out that page.  It's been a great way for me to diversify my writing style and ability.  As I have very little prior knowledge on personal development, and my emotional intelligence is very innate, a majority of the posts required intensive research and reading so any support would be greatly appreciated.  

Thank you all for reading this very extensive and long post.  

Drinking 2 Litres of Water Every Day for a Week

If you know me personally, then it comes to no surprise to learn that I am horrible at drinking water.  I don't even get thirsty or have cravings to drink water.  I can literally go weeks without having a glass of water unless I work out. Nevertheless, I will ensure that I successfully consume at least 2 litres of coffee every day.

It's that bad.

So I took to Amazon and purchased a pink 2.2 litre jug of water because I had no clue how to motivate myself.  All the water apps have lost their novelty (R.I.P my plants on plant nanny; they've all died) and my only incentive was visually seeing what 2 litres looked like.  It has worked like a dream.  I have not missed a single day this week and plan to do another check in at 4 weeks in hopes to keep up this habit.  Here's a break down of each day:

D A Y  O N E

The over-the-top pink jug arrived in the post today.  It was meant to arrive yesterday but apparently got damaged in transportation so I had to re-order it.  Looking at the jug, I was very underwhelmed because 2 litres does not appear to be a lot.  It's size has made the challenge seem much easier.

I keep the jug in front of me at all times as an active reminder to drink water.  I never realised how dehydrated my body was.  I had to urinate literally every 10-20 minutes which is such a nuisance.  Surprisingly enough, my urine was never crystal clear and had a yellow tint to it throughout the day so I must have a lot of waste that has built up (oops).  I'm lucky to be stuck indoors with exams around the corner; meaning it's easy to head to the bathroom at my will.  However, during class, work, or simply hanging about outside, I can imagine this being quite a pain if there are no restrooms close by.

I took some 'before' pictures of my skin and face today at 8:30pm just so we can track my progress properly.

D A Y  T W O 

Guys.  I have a new pimple near the bottom of my lip.  Is this suppose to happen?  It's not as though I wore makeup before I went to bed or the day prior.  In addition, I've been having some bumps on my forehead and a huge zit between my eyebrows (so attractive) but they've not improved granted it's only been a day.  On a positive note, it was a lot easier to get out of bed today and my chronic lethargy seems to have decreased.  I feel less fatigue and usually I get headaches quite frequently throughout the day from staring at my laptop or a book.  However, I didn't have this problem today or yesterday which made working less demanding and effort.  Peeing frequently as per usual.

D A Y  T H R E E 

Alongside ease of waking up, falling asleep is a lot easier.  I sleep deeper without as much disturbance.  Perhaps that, in turn, has helped made me feel more energetic and active throughout the day.  The pimple that appeared near the bottom of my lip has gone which is great.  My forehead seems to have improved and the one in the middle of my eyebrows is gone.  My pee is a lot clearer now which is a promising sign and my bowel movements are fantastic.  I couldn't be dishonest, I'm sorry.  My stomach is less bloated than before but that may be due to the fact that I snack on a lot less junk food.  Don't get me wrong, my over all diet has not changed but I am naturally less inclined to crave salty and sweet snacks due to suppressed hunger.

D A Y  F O U R 

My forehead isn't showing much, if any, signs of improvement.  Therefore, I either got a bad case of nazr or I need to wait about 4 weeks which is the general length of time it takes for skin cells to turn over.  Nevertheless, I find that my body is a lot better at telling me when it is thirsty compared to before.  It's as though I am slowly developing a craving or addiction for water which is great because I am more inclined to ensure I drink throughout the day.  I could never read that signal before but it's feeling more like second nature now.  I believe I use to mistake thirst as hunger.

D A Y  F I V E 

Oddly enough, drinking 2 litres isn't enough for me in a day.  After I finish my jug of water by around 10/11pm, I feel thirsty afterwards.  I'm trying to read and understand my body but for the sake of this challenge I didn't want to mess up the results by increasing my intake.

D A Y  S I X

Today is a bit of an anomaly.  I woke up in the morning to news that the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton went into labour at my University's hospital.  My mom was incredibly excited (as was I) so we went down and waited outside the Lindo Wing where a number of my course mates also were.  It was a very fun experience which I've never thought I could take pleasure in before.  However, it significantly impacted my water intake.  We left the house around 1pm and found a place in line but stayed until 6pm when the Royal Family decided to make their appearance.  I didn't drink any water or food except for a cup of coffee when I woke up.  Therefore, I came home and chugged 2 litres between 6pm and 11pm which isn't as effective as sips throughout the day.  I urinated only about 3-4 times but it was crystal clear (which sometimes indicates over hydration) so I am most likely losing water, which is considered 'excess', because I consumed it in a short amount of time.

D A Y  S E V E N

I woke up with a bit of a headache, probably the equivalent to a water-hangover.  My forehead has remained a problem area so I do feel that I need to keep up this habit for any noticeable difference in my face.  There has been very slight improvement in discolouration of my skin, especially under the eyes, but my skin feels a lot softer to touch.  I don't feel nearly as tired as before and sleeping has become better.  I fall asleep and wake up with more ease than before taking on this challenge.  I most definitely plan to keep this up for a 4 week update and so on.

O V E R A L L  V E R D I C T

  • My hunger was suppressed.  I don't crave snack as much but do finish my main meals which are smaller than what I ate before (I am still getting my daily recommended amount, don't get me wrong, I just snack on junk food less). 
  • My skin improved in terms of dark under eye circles and discoloration but my imperfections and blemishes are going strong which is frustrating but in time that should soon go.  
  • Significantly less, almost no, headaches and feelings of fatigue.  I am a lot less lethargic which could be due to my sleeping quality and decreased consumption of salt and sweet foods.  
  • I spend a lot more time in the bathroom.  I honestly urinate around 15 times a day (I've counted). 
  • Having a pink 2.2 litre jug/water bottle is a personal incentive and motivation.  
I hope this was useful and motivates you guys to do reach for water a lot more throughout the day.  In three weeks I will do an overview again and see how my lifestyle and well being improves.  This should soon become my brand new healthy habit! 

Review | ELF BB Cream in Beige

ELF has been known to be a brand of high quality with a low-end price tag.  They came out with a BB cream which costs £7.50; reaching common drugstore brand prices such as Maybelline, Rimmel London, and Revlon for the same type of product.  Therefore, I was very quick to test it out because it is quite a steep charge for the brand.  


ELF is very simple when it comes to their packaging.  There isn't much more information provided bar 'BB Cream SPF 20' on the front which can make it appear cheaper and lesser quality.  Nevertheless, unlike their other products, this has a pump making it hygienic and a lot less messy with a plastic and transparent lid.   However, it is a bit flimsy and the pump got stuck in the transparent plastic lid so I have no choice but to pour it out onto the back of my hand now.  


The BB cream does indeed feel very light on the skin.  It blends out easily without any dry patches, tugging, or pulling.  It is not completely opaque, allowing your own skin to shine through to appear natural and prevents cakiness.  It doesn't accentuate dry patches or regions on the face.  Therefore, although it is creamy, it is also sheer.  It dries onto the skin with more of a satin finish, rather than matte or glowy.  It does brighten up the skin slightly and works to enhance the natural appearance of the face rather than cover or change it. 


I got the second to darkest shade available.  The shade range isn't great if you are darker than an NC45/NW45 with Mac Cosmetics.  Which is surprising as their foundation and other bb creams demonstrate a more gradual increment from the lightest to darkest color available.  

How it wore throughout the day 

12:30pm:  It's spring break and my sleeping pattern has completely changed.  I tend to sleep late into the AMs and wake up late.  Today my mom and I decided to go on a walk through Hyde Park and visit the Natural Science Museum as it's free entry and we didn't have anything else to do.  Before heading out, I figured this would be a great opportunity to test the ELF BB cream.  I didn't wear any primer, concealer, or powder.  I found the application process extremely easy and it felt light; as though I had nothing on.  It looked like my naked skin and super natural.  

2:00pm:  I didn't get a chance to check out the wear of the BB cream as we were walking through a park with no available mirrors.  Furthermore, I completely forgot that I could use my phone to check but I was too engaged in conversation with my mom.   In the museum, I managed to catch my reflection in one of the mirrors of the exhibition.  It didn't look caked or faded and still appeared fresh and awake which is a plus.

3:00pm: Another mirror encountered.  I am beginning to notice slight fading around my mouth area but nothing dramatic or noticeable.  The bb cream still feels very light and hasn't appeared to transfer on napkins I used or my clothes.  It did start to get slightly hot in the museum and I could feel myself sweating (attractive), nevertheless, the bb cream is going strong. 

5:30pm: We're home!  I went to the mirror to check how it's worn and I can tell that there is slight darkness under my eyes from tiredness and fading around my mouth area but luckily it doesn't appear ashy which is my biggest pet peeve.  By this point I would recommend using a powder such as the Revlon PhotoReady Foundation Powder or even Bare Minerals Mattifying Powder for some extra coverage.  

6:30pm: At this point, it doesn't look like the bb cream is doing what it's meant to.  My discoloration on the face is starting to show and I look like I just woke up: still fresh faced, but not done up.  I would classify the wear of this product about 5-6 hours.  This is pretty impressive considering I didn't support it with any powders to set it in place or concealer which tends to stay put without fail.  As a result, I will be using this when I want some more coverage.  

Overall, for the price that it's at, it is good quality and when assisted with powder and concealer it can work for everyday purposes such as work or school.  Nevertheless, I do still believe it is quite steep and for £7.50 you can invest in lighter foundations which are chalk-full of minerals, vitamins, and even fight acne.  

How to Ace a Presentation

Presentations.  They're either a walk through the park or the bane of all nightmares.  Some people are extremely comfortable with public speaking whilst others may feel intimidated and nervous.  I've been both.  When I was younger, I would be shivering in fear at just the idea of presenting.  I could barely get words out; let alone trying to be coherent and clear.  I would crumble under the pressure.  Eye contact was non-existent as I was too busy clenching my cue cards until my knuckles turned blue.  My grades were far below average. 

Now, presentings my biggest strength and favourite component of assessments at university and my extra curriculars.  During my undergraduate degree, I realised the techniques required to deliver an effective, informative, and engaging talk.  Prior to this, I had little exposure in presenting during my high school career.  However, anyone and everyone can succeed in public speaking.  It is an asset to any career and here's how to ace a presentation:

Slide decks.  I know this goes without saying, but some individuals still cling onto paper flip charts or conduct their talk without any props or tools to guide the viewers.  This doesn't engage the audience nearly as much, especially if your presentation is more informative and academic based in comparison to motivation speeches.  Slides also act as great pointers and cues if you want to ditch holding any paper or notes, making you appear more professional and prepared.  Slides also give you an opportunity to demonstrate your creativity in the text, figures, or images which can aid in your explanations.

Key points and lots of pictures.  It's super easy to overwhelm slides with words.  However, it is very difficult for people to read something with full focus whilst you are talking.  Odds are, no one is going to be reading your slides word-for-word.  Instead, opt for key points with a corresponding picture if appropriate.  Simplicity is the aim.  This will ensure a more effective presentation as individuals can read a few key words or short bullet points instead of blocks of text.  Therefore, they are more likely to understand and take home the message.  Remember, everyone learns differently.  Some individuals will respond better to visual or verbal cues, whilst others prefer reading text.  If you can somehow incorporate all methods into a slide (i.e an image and short bullet points which you can expand on whilst speaking) will be a huge plus.

Memorise your talk.  This is crucial.  If you want your talk to be successful and engaging, practicing and memorising what you say is vital.  Some people argue that it makes one appear more robotic but this is not the case.  If you memorise your talk and know what you want to say on each slide, you are more likely to communicate with the audience through your intonation and body language.  You'll focus less on what to say and more on how you say it.  There will be far less filler words such as 'like', 'uhm', 'so basically' (my personal favourite) which will make you appear more professional and captivating.  Whenever I deliver a talk, I memorise the presentation word for word so I can capture the audience through my play on intonations, body language, and using the space around me.  

Timing.  Alongside practicing your talk, it is vital to ensure you are within the assigned time frame.  Ensure that you are not rushing to get the last sentence out in the final second and that you do not have too much time left over.  You want to memorise your talk in such a way that you speak clearly and within the allocated period of time.  There is no harm in leaving information out but making notes of it in case questioned later.  Staying within the limits is a huge part of presenting effectively.  

Outline, Background, and Summary slide.  This is something I only really began doing during my postgraduate degree.  I noticed that a lot of seminars, external speakers, and lecturers would follow this format.  They would outline what the presentation aims to discuss and break down the talk.  You only need to dedicate one slide for the outline.  For example:

Presentation title: How to Make Cake

Outline Slide
-Background: What is cake
-Tools required
-How to serve
-Thank you's

The Background slide will talk about the history or context of the topic you plan to discuss.  Sometimes, this may not be appropriate for your presentation but if it is, it is important to consider providing this information so the audience is well-informed and can follow your talk with ease.  

The Summary slide is useful in pulling all the information together.  The last slide will be the most remembered one so ensure that you cover the key points and reiterate without repeating yourself.  Emphasise on the message you want to give and, if applicable, you can include your own thoughts or opinions on the matter.  For my assessments, there is a marking/grading criteria which requires us, as students, to give our final verdict on our presentation topic to demonstrate wider-breath of knowledge and critical thinking instead of purely stating facts.  

Use the space and make eye contact.  It is really easy to remain stationary and not move about.  This can be a bit dull and, in my opinion, makes it appear as though you are not thoroughly interested in your topic.  Now, this isn't me saying to gallop from one side to the other or break out into Bollywood dance.  Rather, try to walk around and look as though you're really thinking about your topic and make continuous eye contact with random people in the crowd.  Don't fixate on one person. If this is an assessed presentation, don't make eye contact with your professor too much because sometimes their expressions aren't very welcoming and can easily be misinterpreted.  Personally, I find they make me more nervous and worried because their facial expression seems discontented, confused, or unamused.

Stay calm. Remember, more often than not, they don't know what you're talking about.  You are discussing this matter for a reason - to inform people.  Do not worry if you missed out an important fact or mispronounced a word. Most certainly, the audience is unaware of what you didn't talk about.  Worst case, it will come up as a question in the 'question and answer' session which is an opportunity to redeem yourself.  

Appendix.  This may be an odd one but it has saved me in dire situations.  Sometimes, during the Q+A session, there may be questions that overlap with reading you covered during your research but was not included in your talk due to time constraints. Hence, put extra tables, graphs, information, etc. in the appendix after your final slide (usually the 'thank you' slide).  This way, you can refer back to them and demonstrate to the audience or assessor that you carried out wider-reading and research on the topic.  In addition, you do not need to try and recall the facts as it would be laid out in front of you.  This does require some level of question spotting so if you can, try and guess what questions may be asked by the audience.  Practicing in front of family or friends can also help as you can gauge what they didn't understand or wanted to know more about.  Either as a separate slide or within the appendix, include your references.  If anyone asks where you pulled your data from, you have the source and appropriate evidence.  

Those are the biggest tips I can offer in terms of preparation for presentations.  I've found adhere and adapt to these points in every talk I deliver.  It is important to note that the settings in which one presents may result in different needs so context is vital.  Overall, I do hope these have helped you and happy presenting! 

How I Remove my Makeup (DRUGSTORE)

Most of us know the old tale: If you go to sleep with makeup on, your face ages by three days.  I'm not sure how validate that is, but I don't want to risk it.  It's vital to take off your makeup to ensure your skin can breathe and rejuvenate over night efficiently and properly.  No one wants to wake up with a pimple.  My routine is very simple and takes about 10-15 minutes.  

Coconut oil or Baby oil as makeup remover.  Even though I do have micellar water in my cabinet, I always feel that coconut oil is more effective; especially for water-proof mascara.  It's super easy to use with cotton pads.  It doesn't tug or pull off any eyelashes which some harsher products are prone to do.  At the end of this, a majority of your makeup should be off and your skin should feel extremely soft!

Johnson's Baby Oil: £2.99 for 500mL

Exfoilation.  To exfoilate, I lean towards my Simple Kind to Skin Refreshing Facial Wash and my Vanity Planet brush set.  You can use your favorite cleanser instead or before using a face wash. The one which I use (rarely) is the Superdrug B Revealed Glycolic Cleanser for £3.95.  The silicon brush head for the Vanity Planet facial cleansing brush is more than enough to work into the skin and remove any excess makeup on the face.  It also doesn't hold bacteria like the other brush heads would.  If you do not have an automatic or electric face brush, you can invest in cheap exfoilation gloves that work equally as well in getting deep into your skin to pull all that oil, dirt, and face makeup.  If you have stubborn lipstick that won't budge, the gloves are a life saver in removing it completely alongside dry skin.  

Simple Kind to Skin Facial Wash: £1.50 for 50mL

Boots Exfoliating Gloves: £3.00

Rinse.  Rinse your face with cold water to ensure all soap, oil, and makeup has been washed away for a clean base to moisturise.  Cold or lukewarm water is a lot more gentle on the skin and prevents dryness in comparison to hot water.  

Face mask (optional).  I personally do not use a face mask after removing my makeup because usually it's quite late and I'm lazy/sleepy/tired.  Nevertheless, some cheap yet effective face masks is simply using a home-made turmeric mask.  Here's how:

1. 1 Teaspoon Turmeric: tackles pigmentation, inflammation, and has antioxidants to aid in slowing down ageing and wrinkling of the skin

2.  2-3 Tablespoon Yogurt: fights acne and sooths dry skin

3. 1 Teaspoon flour: easier to apply as it thickens the mask 

4. 1-3 Teaspoons of water, honey, or milk for consistency. 

Apply a thin layer to reduce staining and leave on until dry or for 20 minutes and wash off gently with a muslin cloth or exfoilation gloves for ease.  

As per usual, do a patch test first around the jaw area before committing to it.

Moisturiser.  I have been using my Johnson's baby oil or Coconut Oil as a night time moisturiser which traps all that moister in my skin; allowing me to wake up soft and supple.  If I don't use that, it would be my trusty Nivea Soft Cream for Hands and Face.  

A Day in the Life of a Global Health Student | Term 2 Day 5

This is the last post for term two until term three (dissertation/thesis term) begins.  It feels very bitter sweet that we have come so far but I am so happy and blessed to have been able to share my journey with you.  I hope it has helped some of you and it remains like a personal diary for me to look back on.  The last module that I we have for global health term 2 is Health Systems Development.  As I chose the global health stream instead of health systems, it only deemed appropriate to pick this as my optional class to widen my horizons.  

The course involves increasing knowledge of health systems and highlight its multidisciplinary aspects.  This includes but is not limited to: organisational behaviour, policy, information systems and data sources/collecting, human resources, governance, and funding.  I found this module slightly difficult to understand initially but slowly began to get to grips with the kind of critical thinking that was expected of me.  If you're similar to me, with a very science-heavy background from GCSEs onwards, and sort of lived under a rock, then most likely these types of courses won't come naturally but a little background reading and revising material helps solidify these concepts that seem quite abstract.  Long sentence, sorry. 

10:00am-12:30pm:  We have a slightly later start for this module but it does take up the whole day.  Luckily the campus is nearby so I don't need to walk too far.  Today we looked at health systems reforms.  This involves discussing methods of altering and changing the health system to adjust to the needs of the population.  It is critical to not only analyse the health of the public, such as prevalences of specific health conditions (NCDs or CDs etc) but also the economic state of the government and population in question, and resources available.  It also touched upon the necessity, strengths, and limitations of universal health coverage in terms of the possibility of implementing it.  Therefore, we looked at the journey and how to sustain a UHC in different contexts.  

12:30pm-1:30pm:  Lunch time!  I keep to myself during lunch, which is unsurprising to my peers.  A majority have not seen me outside of a work-context.  I used this time to work on a Health Economics project we had which involved carrying out a cost-utility analysis of vaginal birth versus c.section on the NHS.  

1:30pm-5:30pm:  This was intense.  Essentially, we had an external lecturer that skyped in pretending to be the Minister of Health of various countries based on which country we were assigned. Working in groups, we had to pitch the health status of a given population and why we should reform the health system accordingly and where to allocate funding.  The lecturer did not go easy on us.  He was quick to interrupt, call us out, was not shy to express discontentment to mimic what would occur in a political setting.  It was kind of nerve-wrecking but a great way to realise that not everyone will be quick to believe and trust numbers on a paper.  There is a lot of background work that takes place and politics.  In the end, he was impressed with our quick research because in the real world, you sometimes only have a couple of hours to make a deck to allocate $20,000,000 for a health reform.  

6:00pm: I'm home safe.  I am taking it easy today as tomorrow I have my tooth extraction which isn't exciting.  Therefore, I have the day off and this officially marks the beginning of my Spring Break.  I ate dinner because it will the last solid food I can have for about a week whilst watching youtube videos. 

7:00pm-8:00pm: I start to track down some useful websites and resources for learning R in preparation for my dissertation.  This was more scut work than it was meaningful but in all honestly, I think the holiday fever hit me hard.  Hello, procrastination. 

8:00pm-9:30pm: Our Case Study assignment was released for Health Systems Development.  It involves explaining the steps involved in reforming a health system of a fictional affluent country.  We have to pull together all the lectures in order to come explain how we will assess the existing health system and the health indicators of that population.  

9:30pm-10:00pm:  I have some tea with biscuits as I won't be able to have hot drinks after my tooth extraction in case I burn the site.  Arguably, it is quite late to be having tea but I'm playing the sympathy card.  During this time, I usually brainstorm blogpost ideas for other blogs I write for or read the Business of Fashion articles because it provides incredible insight on existing trends and forecasts what to expect in fashion and beauty.  

10:00pm-11:30pm: This time is usually spent writing blogposts for the week.  I do miss a few days but I try to keep up and ensure my content is genuine and informative.  It is sometimes overwhelming to balance my blog as well other people's that I write for, and ensure consistency without affecting my academic work.  But so far, I have most certainly had God on my side as I am so happy and grateful for how far my blog has come in a short amount of time.  I usually try to get into bed and watch a couple of youtube videos before I go to sleep. 

That is the end!  I cannot believe that all my days and modules have been documented at long last.  I can't believe how quickly my masters is finishing up, feels like just yesterday I was starting my first day of undergrad but that was over three years ago.  I plan on doing a summary of what I think were the pros and cons of my Masters in Public Health soon.  I hope this has been of some use and will be doing posts regarding the journey through my dissertation which should be very exciting as well.  

Thank you for reading!

Interview | Jai from JaiMedicine - Premed to Med School

I've been lucky enough to stumble upon the up and coming JaiMedicine channel and felt like his videos were filled with information and subtle comedy which makes his content interesting and entertaining whilst remaining extremely useful.  I couldn't resist DMing him and asking for his advice and insight on doing Pre-Med in America, especially as I do have a lot of aspiring medics in USA who read my blog.  Without a doubt, he will be someone that blow up on social media as he is already gaining subscribers by the hundreds for his efforts.  Be sure to follow him on all his social media platforms linked at the end of this interview!  

What was your major during undergrad and why did you pick it?
My major in undergrad was Biology and I minored in psychology. I picked biology because it fulfilled all the pre-med requirements but I also have a deep interest in psychology so I wanted to make sure I studied that as well. Honestly, I'm a bigger fan of chemistry than biology and was asked many times by professors to switch majors but I didn't see a need for it as my main goal was to make it to medical school. 

Is there anything you wish you knew or would do differently during premed?
Yes, a few things. I actually made a video about this on my YouTube page; the page is called JaiMedicine (shameless plug). I think the biggest thing that I wish I did differently was change my mentality. Pre-med is a time when the ones who make it to med school get separated from the pack, and this happens much earlier than you think. As early as my first semester in undergrad, there were many times in which I felt alienated and almost like I was losing touch with certain people and it took somewhat of a toll on me. What people don’t realize is that in order to become someone that others can’t be, you have to do things that others won’t do. I wish I could go back and tell myself that it’s okay to overachieve and it’s okay to feel alienated, because that’s what pre-med is all about. It’s about going above and beyond the norm. Once you step into medical school and you see that everyone that made it went through the same thing, you won’t feel as alienated anymore. In a lot of ways, pre-med can be even more emotionally stressful than medical school solely due to the fact that, unlike medical school, not everyone is on the same page and most people won’t make it.

How many classes do you take in one semester on average? 
I usually take about 4 classes; most of my semesters consisted of 2 science class with a lab for each alongside a psychology class and an elective. During the last couple of semesters, I have been taking more psychology classes because I got most of my science classes out of the way before my MCAT. 

What was your favourite class?
Everyone that knows me knows I love chemistry. I love all kinds of chemistry. Raw, sautéed, well-done, medium-rate, you name it. Organic chemistry and biochemistry were my favorites because they had a lot of real-life implications, but I don’t discriminate. I’m also a big fan of abnormal psychology because there are some extremely interesting cases out there (I.E. Genie the feral child). I love reading about these cases and seeing how much of an impact our brain has on our bodies and our lives. Our whole livelihood exists in our brain; that’s everything we know, everything we’ve experienced, all the emotions we’ve ever felt. That just blows my mind. 

What was your least favourite class?
My least favorite class was calculus. Some people fear spiders, I’m scared of derivatives. 

Favorite memory during premed? 
My favorite memory in pre-med doesn’t really have anything to do with pre-med; it involves my work in the ER as a medical scribe. I did scribing during my junior/senior year and there was a day when certain patient who shall not be named (HIPAA is always watching) presented to the ER and did not speak a word of English. She only knew Farsi and luckily, that’s one of the languages I know as well. As soon as I started translating for her, she went bananas. I would come to her room every 5 minutes to check up on her and she would smile every time. We literally became best friends. Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but it was one of those experiences that make you go “wow, this is really what I want to do”.

Follow Jai! 

Instagram: @JaiMedicine
YouTube: JaiMedicine

Spring Summer 2018 Beauty Trends

I can't do a Spring Summer 2018 Fashion Trends post without pairing with what's in for beauty this season. I feel like beauty trends don't tend to alternate too much throughout the year.  However, they adjust according to what new products are being released.  I feel that this season didn't portray any clear trends but these are the overall looks that seemed to reoccur in shows.  

Glitter. Who doesn't love a bit of glitter in their highlight or eyeshadow?  This trend is definitely emulating the happy and joyous seasons of Spring and Summer.  If you don't feel comfortable playing with pigments, you can reach for metallic eyeshadows that can be bought from ELF, L'oreal, and Stila's Metallic Eyeshadow Pens. 

Inspiration: Givenchy, Jeremy Scott, Dries Van Noten, TopShop, Stella Jean

Baby skin. Everyone is trying to glow-up with highlight or give off the impression of hydrated, dewy, and healthy skin.  It's quite hard to do if you predominantly drink coffee (me!) and not water.  Therefore, invest in bb creams or tinted moisturisers that will provide that coverage and baby-skin effect without caking or being too heavy for everyday.  

Inspiration: Bottega Veneta, Altuzarra, Isabel Marant, Erdem

Cherry Lips.  As someone who prefers their berry shades over red, this trend is kind of scary but will force me to branch out of my comfort zone.  Having glossy cherry lips is all the rage.  A common theme was bare-faced makeup with minimal to no eyeshadow or even mascara with a bold red lip.  This is something I do want to try out.  Too shy? The Maybelline Cherry Me Baby Lips lip balm has enough tint to make your lips look juicy and red.  

Inspiration: Max Mara, Chanel, Dolce and Gabbana, 

Blush.  Don't be afraid to go heavy-handed with your blush this season!  Make up artists are loving rosey pink blush on all skin-tones and are even blending it up towards the temple and brow bone as a go-to editorial look.  

Inspiration: Chanel, Valentino

Metallics and Electra Eyeshadow.  Everyone seems to be loving bright blue, aqua-marine, and green eyeshadow looks.  In the past I use to rock an emerald look when Emerald green was the Pantone Color of the Year quite a few years ago.  I think this is a great incentive to play with color and invest in the Urban Decay Electrics Palette or Marc Jacobs Eye-conic line which also have bold and solid colored eyeshadows.  

Inspiration: Missoni, Marani, Chanel

Glossy/ Sweaty.  Yup.  If you sweat easily, this is the trend for you.  Having glossy lids (apparently inspired by Indian women, not sure how I feel about this personally) is a beauty look to go for.  Having a very dewy face gives off an ethereal vibe which, if done right, could look healthy and glowy. However, be cautious as there is a fine line between looking trendy and like you've just ran a marathon.   

Inspiration: Christopher Kane, Etro

That's all for the beauty trends!  I am quite excited for some of them.  I do plan on posting a little tutorial on using bold statement colors such as green and purple eyeshadow on the lids which is my favorite trend this season.  I am excited to see what new product launches will come out in accordance with what was seen and used on the runway.  

Spring Summer 2018 Fashion Trends

I absolutely love these kind of posts.  I did one for Fall Winter 2017/2018 and wanted to continue on for this Spring and Summer.  Whilst watching a couple of runway shows when working or on the Vogue Runway app, there were a few trends I noticed.  In addition, these seemed to have translated to the shelves of, but not limited to, TopShop, Primark, and Forever 21 for example.  I was super excited to be able to put together this list of the top Spring and Summer trends of 2018!  I can't wait to try out a few. 

Pastels.  So. Shocking.  Obviously, pastels have to come back in season every Spring because it isn't Easter without feel good colors.  However, the twist comes into play when using the same color, for example, pastel green, and mixing multiple shades of it into one outfit.  This layered look is very cohesive and can transition from runway to street without being too bold but does require some courage.  Lilac is the color to look out for this season.

Inspirations: Nina Ricci, Valentino, Chanel, Hermes, Michael Kors, Tom Ford

Canadian Tuxedos.  I remember this being a Fall/Winter trend which has entered Spring and Summer.  Considering the common thread being cohesiveness, I am not surprised that denim on denim is coming back into style.  If you're a bit shy trying out this look, I suggest investing in an oversized denim jacket with a statement or plain T-shirt paired with fitted jeans.  It's a simple yet stylish way to try something new. 

Inspirations: Tibi, Tom Ford, Calvin Klein, Fendi, 

Trench Coats.  We can say goodbye to puffer jackets and hello to Spring trench coats for these warmer months.  They're a classic statement piece that just oozes sophistication and class.  Many coats on the runway are diverse with pattern, textures, and colors.  The options are endless. If you're bored of black or beige, try out blue, red or even pink!  I certainly want to invest in a burnt pink trench coat in the future.

Inspirations: Hermes, Burberry, Bottega Venetta, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga

Color Blocking.  I absolutely love this trend.  If you're scared or not sure how to pair bold colors together, try investing in one piece color blocked dresses or tops.  It's a great way to express confidence and stand out in a crowd of neutrals.  Two-toned outfits are more than enough to express this trend.  Try pairing solid colors on the opposite side of the color wheel!  You'll be pleasantly surprised with the turnout.  

Inspirations: Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Versace 

Plastic.  I personally was never a fan of transparent rain coats or accessories.  Nevertheless, this trend is sweeping the shelves.  Transparent and plastic jackets, bags, shoes, and even tops are extremely popular.  It's a great way to show off your cute outfit on rainy days, especially in England! 

Inspirations: Chanel, Calvin Klein, Valentino, Burberry, Marc Jacobs

Feathers.  Feathers need to be done well to cross the line of 'tackiness'.  However, the designers on the runway successfully and subtly incorporated feathers into their outfits, either in shoes, on the collar, or the sleeves.  This can look extremely classy, chic, and luxurious.  

Inspirations: Saint Laurent, Elie Saab, Balmain

Pencil skirts.  These are a staple for interviews and working professionals.  I was so thrilled to see variations of this closet must-have that transformed something 'square' into fashionable and stylish.  Designers played with patterns such as plaid and pinstripes, textures like plastic, suede, or silk, and colors like red, black, and yellow.  They were dressed down to look sporty with string and ties to rock that Adidas or tennis-dress vibe or very professionalised with a pinstripe grey print.  

Miu Miu, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Prada

1980s.  The 1980s fashion would include flowy or puffy sleeves, strong shoulder pads, high-waisted skirts or pants, alongside low necklines.  I feel that these attributes have been incorporated in a lot of pieces that also follow the other trends listed here.  

Inspirations: Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Saint Laurent

Sneakers.  These are easily my favorite footwear because they're easy, comfortable, and sometimes gives me a bit of height.  There are so many glammed up sneakers available on the market.  Therefore, if you find plain white tennis shoes a bore, go hunting for cute designs either from Adidas, Nike, or even the likes of H and M and Forever 21.  Designers played with patterns such as floral or tropical prints, colors, and even textures. 

Inspirations: Prada, Louis Vuitton, Ted Baker, Michael Kors 

Trouser Suits.  Don't like skirts? No problem.  Sometimes I prefer wearing pants instead because it makes sitting a much easier task.  Although some of these suits are more editorial compared to a work setting, you can have fun in trying bold prints or colors such as pink, red, and green! 

Inspiration: Chloe, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs

Polka dots.  These are one of my favorite prints.  I think this was in Fall/Winter 2018 as well and a great way to incorporate these into your wardrobe are simple polkadot bow clips in your hair if you're feeling too shy.  Otherwise try a one-piece polka dot dress or culotte trousers with a bold lip and accessories.  

Inspiration: Valentino

Vintage Florals.  I don't think it is possible to outgrow florals for spring and summer.  This pattern can take many forms to be flattering for any sort of setting.  It can easily transition off of the runway into the streets and even as a form of occasion wear as a tea dress.  

Inspiration: Erdem, Dolce Gabbana, Alessandra Riche

Sequins and Crystals.  Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and sparkle.  Having outfits or accessories with a bit of dazzle is nothing less than fun but can be sophisticated if subtly placed (like on handbags or heels).  This trend was especially seen in the form of heels to mimic 'cinderella shoes'.  

Inspirations: Versace, Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Gucci, Tom Ford, Miu Miu, Preen

Checks and plaid.  As mentioned previously, plaid has been a print that has intertwined with many of the other trends listed here.  Although predominantly winter patterns, I think both of these can be dressed up or down and woven into accessories such as handbags or trench coats to give off an elegant and preppy-anglaise impression. 

Inspiration: Burberry, Victoria Beckham, Balenciaga

Wicker.  I've never been a massive fan of wicker or picnic-basket styled handbags but I am growing to love them.  They're an adorable pairing with floral, polka dot, or pastel dresses.  It's classy yet still playful and youthful look for those of any age.  I think this is a very fun trend to be seeing on the runway as well as on the high-street.  

Inspirations: Zara, Mark Cross, River Island

Those are the top trends I've noticed on the runway!  I hope this has inspired some of you to branch out or head to the high-street to create some of these outfits.  I'm very excited for these warmer months to wear less layers and inject more color into my life.  

The truth about SPF

The warmer seasons are upon us and I can't wait, mainly because it's my birthday season in spring. However, with temperatures rising, we are going to be seeing Mr.Sun a lot more and it is extremely important to understand how sun protecting factor (SPF) works and the difference between UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. This knowledge will hopefully ensure you make informed decisions when purchasing your sunscreen.

What are the different types of Ultraviolet Radiation? 

Ultraviolet radiation has a broad spectrum which ranges from 40-400nm.  It comes just before visible light on the electromagnetic spectrum.

UVA has the longest wavelength (400 nm - 320 nm) and is able to penetrate the ozone layer and into the skin.  This radiation tends to result in wrinkling, speeding up the process of ageing (photoageing), and dulling the skin.  Photocarcinogenesis can also result due to direct damage to cells and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).  This can result in mutations in human menalocytes that can result in skin tumours or cancers. (3) UVA has been said to up-regulate matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs) formation which are enzymes that degrade collagen and elastin in the matrix.  Therefore, it reduces the skin's elasticity and smoothness, results in wrinkling, and lack of firmness. (2)

UVB (320 nm-290 nm) is not completely blocked by the ozone layer, despite having slight wavelength overlap with UVA.  Exposure to UVB can result in pigmentation, discoloration, sunburn, photocarcinogenesis, inflammation, and also immune-suppression. (2)

UVC (290-220nm) is completely blocked by the ozone layer, therefore is not a threat unless you are in an environment with extreme UVC exposure such as tanning salons/beds. (1)

How does sunscreen work? 

A majority of sunscreen agents contain titanium dioxide (TiO2), kaolin, zinc oxide (ZnO), magnesium oxide, calcium carbonate, and talc.  They work either absorbing, reflecting, or scattering the UV rays to prevent penetration into the skin.  The topical creams act as a physical barrier.  Most sunscreens do not have a shelf life of more than 3 years but in hotter temperatures and storage places, this can significantly decrease.  Always use in-date sunscreen.  (4)  The sunscreen should effectively block BOTH UVA and UVB rays.  Ensure that the sunscreen you invest in is broad spectrum sunscreen.

What is SPF?

SPF is Sun Protecting Factor used for protecting the skin and body against UVB rays.  It is measured using the following equation:
The Minimal Erythemal Dose (MED) is the amount of UV radiation that will cause minimal erythema in an individual's skin within a few hours of exposure.  Erythema is also known as sunburn. (5)  Therefore, if you apply a product that has SPF 20, the skin is protected until exposed to 20 times more UVB radiation than that is required to burn the protected skin.  Another way to look at it is: 

Therefore, if it takes you 20 minutes to burn in the sun without sunscreen, and the SPF suncream you use is SPF 10, it will take you 200 minutes before you burn in the sun.  Theoretically, after 200 minutes you should reapply your sunscreen.  Do bare in mind, many studies have highlighted the difficulty in formulating an appropriate and accurate equation.  Currently, there is no true measure of how much SPF can really protect you and how much cream is needed to ensure you have created a good barrier.  

All in all, make sure you do cover every inch of your skin and apply the sunscreen in accordance to the SPF number.  It won't hurt to over apply and put on twice as much considering the fact that most individuals do not use enough anyways.  

I hope this was a fun and informative read for you all! I really enjoy writing more science-y based posts and makes me feel like I am utilising my degrees more and it is very satisfying. 


Review | L'oreal Elvive Dream Lengths Restoring Shampoo

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I am in love with the L'Oreal Elvive hair line.  When I heard that the Dream Lengths Restoring Shampoo for Long hair dropped I knew that I had to get my hands on it after my other one finished.  The longer your hair, the more prone the ends are to damage because of environmental exposures, heat, and mechanical forces like friction.

At its drugstore price, I couldn't resist.  This was an impulse buy when I was in line at Boots looking to get my trusty Nivea cream.  It was right next to the check out line on what looked like a podium.  I had to grab one, knowing full well that my shampoo at home was on it's last leg. 

400mL for £4.99 at Superdrugs  

Product texture: The thick consistency and rich lather means it is easy to work into the scalp and hair. However, it washes out effortlessly without leaving behind any residue.

Scent: A glorious fruity scent which does linger after your hair has been dried.

Hair texture: It aims to reduce the appearance of split-ends which I can vividly see as my ends do feel softer and appear thicker.  It successfully rids of excess oil, dirt, and dandruff.  The L'Oreal Elvive hair care line has not failed to leave my hair looking and feeling nourished from the scalp to the tip.  My hair is holding in a lot more moisture.  It does not dry out the hair, but leaves it feeling voluminous, shinier, and healthier. Therefore, it is no longer a frizzy mess but smooth, soft, and airy (but that could also be because I've completely eliminated heat from my regime which you can read about here).

I am not using this in conjunction with the conditioner as I still have my old L'oreal Elvive conditioner to use up but I can imagine that, too, would further enhance the results gained by this shampoo.  

Sorry for the short review, but there isn't much else I can say about this product other than I love it and will continue to invest in L'oreal Elvive hair products to maintain my hair health.  I am very happy with the results I am seeing thus far.  

You do not need to pay a salon price for salon hair.  
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