28 February 2014

Monthly Round-Up - February 2014

I honestly can't believe that it's the last day of February...where the hell did it go?! In the words of KickThePJ; "whilst you all head on to March 1st tomorrow, I'm going to finish what I started and make it to February 31st. don't wait for me". Here's February's posts all smushed together in one little post. ^_^

I hope that February treated you well and that March is even better! Did you have a favourite post from the past month?
Lots of love, Cat

26 February 2014

Hello Instagram #4

Left to right, top to bottom: The derp face to end all derp faces. The best part is that it wasn't actually on purpose // Cuddling up with Millie to read Cinder on a Sunday afternoon // Using musicals to avoid my massive stack of homework // Millie shared the bed with Belle for a full hour. I felt like a proud mum // Finally getting round to reading Divergent // I re-organised the wall behind my desk (full post here) // Had a lovely day in town with my friends (we may have posed for a photo in the middle of a chip-shop) // Getting distracted by my wall when I was meant to be studying // Costa with my friends // Drank the best chai latte in the world // Studying, studying and yet more studying.

Lots of love, Cat

22 February 2014

What's On My Wall #1

A lot...that's what's on my wall.

Needless to say, I like sticking stuff to my walls. This post only shows the wall that my desk is against but, obviously, I have more than one wall in my room. Every wall in my room is busy and I'm quickly running out of wall space - I just prefer having stuff covering my walls instead of having to look at cream wood-chip every day. :3

Lots of love, Cat


19 February 2014

Interview With Amber From The Mile Long Bookshelf!

The Mile Long Bookshelf

Today's post is a little bit different... I recently had the honor of interviewing my oldest blogging-friend, Amber from The Mile Long Bookshelf. I've known Amber for 7 years now and I still love her blog to this day but, for some reason, I had never interviewed her for my blog. This has to be fixed! Keep reading to find out more about the lovely and super talented, Amber. ^_^

 Welcome to Through A Cat's Eyes! Let's just start with you saying a little bit about yourself and your blog, The Mile Long Bookshelf.
Hey Cat, thanks for having me on your blog! My name is Amber, I'm 15 years old, and I love playing guitar/piano, drawing, painting, spending endless hours on Pinterest, fangirling over my favourite bands and spending way too much time on Twitter. The Mile Long Bookshelf is a Young Adult book blog which has been running since 2009 and it showcases book reviews, interviews, giveaways, discussions and much more. 

What inspired you to leave your old blog and start book blogging? 
It was such a long time ago I can barely remember! I think I just grew out of my old blog, which was like an online diary. It started to bore me, and at the time I was guest reviewing for another blog and it was a lot more enjoyable. Book blogging on my own blog seemed like it would be fun, so I decided to give it a go!

Do you have any blogging goals for 2014?
There are the numerical goals like getting 500 bloglovin' followers/YouTube subscribers, but I would also really like to improve in writing my reviews. I also want to help more people set up book blogs. The more the merrier!

Where do you hope to see yourself and your blog in a few years?
Looking ten years into the future I'll be 25 (scary...) so I really hope I'll be a freelance journalist or someone in publishing. I'd like to have traveled a bit beforehand - California, New York, Paris, Australia - and it would be great if I had written/was in the middle of writing my first novel. Hopefully I would still be blogging, too...I can't see myself giving it up anytime soon, anyway!

Do you have an all-time favourite book?
How could you ask this?! My favourite read of 2013 was Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, but I also adored City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher, and, of course, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. But my all-time favourite? Hmm...that's like asking me to pick which I prefer out of Pringles and Doritos. I can't choose!

What book are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott, out in March 2014. At the moment it seems to be VERY similar to The Hunger Games, right down to the gold pins...

Which Hogwarts house are you in? Which faction? 
According to Pottermore, I'm a Ravenclaw. Faction? I would definitely be Divergent - a bit of everything!

Which fictional world would you least like to live in?
I'm going to have to go with something very stereotypical here and say I would hate to live in Panem from The Hunger Games. There is no way I would be able to fight to the death - I'd probably be the first dead tribute in the arena. I'd much prefer to live in the Shadowhunter world!

What are your favourite and least favourite things about book blogging?
My absolute favourite thing about book blogging is the fact that I've made so many good friends who I talk to every day. We're spread out all over the world but we all have so much in common! My least favourite thing is the pressure I feel sometimes to get to the bottom of my TBR pile (which, let's face it, is never going to happen), the plagiarism, and the competitiveness.

Do you have any advice for anyone who is thinking about starting a book blog? 
Write your own original content and come up with your own ideas. Don't plagiarise. Get Twitter because it is so good for getting your blog out there, and most importantly, have fun! Try not to let it stress you out. :)


15 February 2014

Brand Focus - Clean & Clear

If you've followed my blog for a while, you'll know that Clean & Clear quite regularly pops up. I never used to be the biggest C&C fan - I used to find the products too harsh for my skin - but, over the past year or so, I've started to use their products more often and one product has became holy-grail for me. They're still not my favourite skincare brand but they are definitely in my top 5 and are gradually getting closer to the top-spot. I really think that Clean & Clear have improved a lot over the past couple of years and I'm excited to see what else they think of.

Brand History
Clean & Clear was originally developed by Revlon and started out as a line of products for sensitive skin in 1957. The original line included shampoos, conditioners and skincare products. In 1991, Revlon sold Clean & Clear to Johnson & Johnson. In 1993, Clean & Clear adopted the slogan, "Clean & Clear and Under Control", and Johnson & Johnson changed the brand to fit into the market better, focusing it on acne and problem skin. (Source: Wikipedia) Visit the Clean & Clear website here

The Products
At the moment, I have four Clean & Clear products but I've tried quite a few others in the past. I guess it's a good sign that I've used them up! As well as the ones listed above, I've also tried the Exfoliating Daily Wash* and the Morning Energy Brightening Daily Facial Scrub - both were great but I preferred the Exfoliating Daily Scrub because I felt like the Morning Energy scrub left my skin feeling a little bit sticky after I rinsed it off. I've also tried the Advantage Spot Control Moisturiser but I couldn't find it on the C&C website so I think it might have been discontinued.

My general feeling towards Clean & Clear products is that, although they are usually aimed towards sensitive skin, they really give your skin a good deep-clean and help to keep spots away. I haven't exactly got spot-prone skin but C&C products help to keep it under control and I think that I would have a bigger spot problem if I didn't use any C&C products. I've had quite a few comments on Clean & Clear reviews in the past saying that the products are too harsh for people's skin and that they've had problems with the brand before. I think this is pretty understandable because, like I said at the beginning of the post, C&C used to be too harsh for my skin as well. Clean & Clear use salicylic acid in their products to help fight acne but this sometimes disagrees with some people's skin. If you can't use salicylic acid, it might be worth trying a brand that uses benzoyl peroxide instead. The brand isn't for everyone but I personally think it's doing great things for my skin at the moment. ^_^

Like I said, I've done a few reviews for Clean & Clear in the past (some of which are really badly written...thank you, past-me). It's a bit of hassle to traipse through the full blog to find them if you want to read them, so I thought I would put them all here to make it easier for you.

"Moisturises and helps prevent spots and blemishes"

"Cleanses effectively to help prevent spots"
This is one of my all-time favourite skincare products. I've used it for a few years now and absolutely love it. ^_^

"Cleans down to the pores for really clear skin"

I've also featured C&C products in my two old skincare routine posts - here and here. I really need to do an updated one (it's been over a year since my last...) but I'm sure that at least one Clean & Clear product will be included in it. 

I know it isn't for everyone - we all have different skin with different needs - but Clean & Clear suit my skin pretty well and I'm confident that I'll continue to use their products for quite a few years to come. Have you tried any C&C products? What did you think of them?

Lots of love, Cat

Although the majority of products mentioned in this post were very kindly given to me by Clean & Clear, this is not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own and every review is completely honest - they always are! I genuinely really like C&C and have used their products for years, even before they sent me products to review. I use the Deep Cleansing Lotion every single day and have for years, and I trialed the other products for at least a month before reviewing them. Clean & Clear were super lovely by sending me their products for review, but this is not a sponsored post - they don't even know about it! 

12 February 2014

Review - Clean & Clear Deep Action Cream Wash

 Clean & Clear Oil-Free Deep Action Cream Wash* "Cleans down to the pores for really clear skin."

A couple of months ago, I mixed up my skin-care routine a little bit after a nightmare of a month skin-wise. I had somehow went from having dry skin with the occasional spot, to having sore, red and irritated, oily skin that just wanted to get more and more spotty every day. Even now, I'm not sure what caused it but my skin cleared up nicely after changing my cleanser and moisturiser, and drinking more water. The cleanser I started using was Clean & Clear's Deep Action Cream Wash and - whilst I doubt that it cleared up my skin by itself - I really liked it for the few weeks I was using it.

This cleanser seemed to deeply cleanse my skin whilst still being gentle. It has a kind of menthol scent that hangs around after it's rinsed off and actually makes your face feel cold. I personally love that 'just washed my face with toothpaste' feeling (and my sister did too when she "borrowed" it for a while") but it may not be to everyone's taste. I didn't really have any problems with my skin through the month when I was using this cleanser, apart from the odd spot around my hairline that I can't seem to avoid. 

You can get Clean & Clear's Deep Action Cream Wash for £3.50 from Boots - here.
Lots of love, Cat

8 February 2014

Reading Wrap Up - January 2014

Lola & The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Once by Morris Gleitzman
Then by Morris Gleitzman

January was a really great month for reading; I read 6 books and loved every single one. I'm not sure what happened but I found myself feeling extra enthusiastic about reading throughout the month and I spent a lot more time reading than I spent watching TV or sleeping (maybe not the best idea when it's prelim-season...). Out of the 6 books I read, 3 were re-reads. I wouldn't usually re-read so many books in one month, but I hadn't read 2 of them for years so I made an exception. ^_^ I would highly recommend every book that I read and loved throughout January.

'The Catastrophic History Of You & Me' was a bit of a wildcard. Rachel got it for me for Christmas and, although I'd never heard anything about it before, I couldn't wait to read it. I was kind of expecting it to be the usual chick-lit, light-hearted romance book (which I wouldn't have minded) so I was pleasantly surprised when I got into it. I won't give anything away but this book is brilliant and incredibly enjoyable. 'Lola & The Boy Next Door' was another Christmas present from Rachel but, unlike the previous one, I knew a bit about it and had been wanting to read it for a little while. I'd actually read 'Anna & The French Kiss' just a few days before I got this one and I absolutely loved it, so I was really excited to read another book by Stephanie Perkins. This might be quite controversial but I think I might like 'Lola & The Boy Next Door' even more than 'Anna & The French Kiss'. I'd highly recommend both.

Next was my first re-read of the month: 'The Perks Of Being A Wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky. This was my third time reading it and I loved it just as much as I have the other times. Perks is one of my favourite books and favourites films (I absolutely freaking love the casting and think they did an amazing job putting Perks on the screen) and I would highly recommend reading it. I'm yet to meet someone (other than my sister) that actually likes this book, though. The general consensus with everyone I've asked is that it's pretty bad... Don't listen to them!

I'm preparing for an onslaught of fangirling here... I finally read 'Divergent'. I feel kinda stupid for not reading it sooner. It's been on my book wishlist since it came out and has been sitting in my room since the beginning of August (I got it for my birthday last year), yet I only picked it up last month. Long story short; I absolutely loved it. It was written better than I expected and it was so gripping and captivating. I loved the whole premise and would happily read Insurgent and Allegiant - preferably as soon as possible...

The final two books were both re-reads from about 5 or 6 years ago: 'Once' and 'Then' by Morris Gleitzman. These are really short books (only about 160 pages each) but they definitely pack a punch. They deal with a difficult subject - the holocaust - but because they're told through the eyes of a child, an almost lighthearted spin is put on it. The narrator, Felix, goes on a real journey and you see him go from being completely naive and unaware, to dealing with the situation so maturely. 'Once' and 'Then' are the first two books in the trilogy (I read the third installment at the beginning of February) and I would highly recommend reading them, no matter how old you are. I first read them when I was 10-ish and I still love them now.

What did you read in January?
Lots of love, Cat

1 February 2014

I Love...January 2014 Edition!

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Soap & Glory 'Smoothie Star' body scrub
The Body Shop's Born Lippy in watermelon
Impulse 'Secret Smile' body spray
Urban Decay Naked Basics palette
Real Techniques contour brush
January was a great month as far as reading goes, partly because I was internet-less for a week at the beginning of the month and partly because I got some amazing books for Christmas that made me really enthusiastic about reading again. I read 6 books in total (reading wrap-up coming soon!) and I honestly loved them all but I think 'Lola and the Boy Next Door' by Stephanie Perkins was probably my favourite.  I got it read in a few days and loved every single word. Stephanie Perkins is an amazing author with a real talent for setting the scene really vividly (this was evident in 'Anna and the French Kiss' - it feels like you are actually in Paris with Anna and St Clair) and was shown in 'Lola and the Boy Next Door' when she was describing Lola's neighbourhood. I absolutely love the characters that Stephanie Perkins creates and I seriously fell in love with Cricket Bell. He's just perfect... 'Lola and the Boy Next Door' is just as amazing as 'Anna and the French Kiss', if not better. 

All of my beauty favourites were actually discovered in December (either Christmas presents from family and friends or Christmas presents from me, to me...) and I've used them all pretty much daily all through January. I've wanted Soap & Glory's 'Smoothie Star' for well over a year but it was only when I decided to buy a few friends some S&G stuff that I bought it for myself. It was a little Christmas present to myself...:3 It smells unbelievable (like maple syrup) and makes your skin really smooth. It's not the cheapest body scrub ever but I've been using it twice a week since Christmas and have hardly made a dent in it, so it's definitely worth the money.  Rachel got me a set of Body Shop Born Lippy's for Christmas (thank you!) so I've been using the watermelon one a lot over the past month. It smells so good and is pretty moisturising. Another Christmas present to myself was the Impulse 'Secret Smile' body spray. There's not much to say about it because it is just a body spray, but it smells really lovely - raspberry and gardenia, apparently - and is pretty damn cheap.

The last two favourites were featured in my Christmas post - here: the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette and the Real Techniques contour brush. I've been using both of these daily since Christmas and have been quickly falling in love with them. Urban Decay make unbelievable eye-shadows - they're so smooth, not at all chalky and are highly pigmented - and I've never used a brush as soft as the Real Techniques contour brush. I actually use the brush for my powder (Rimmel Stay Matte) because I prefer applying it with a small brush and I've found that the contour brush is perfect for the job. Real Techniques brushes are amazing quality and are pretty affordable. The contour brush was part of the Core Collection but I think you can get it individually. 

I hope January treated you well! What were your favourites from the past month? ^_^
Lots of love, Cat
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