Thursday, 30 July 2009

To pursue a dream: A futile exercise or a passion worth striving for?

Just as I was pondering my career options post-degree, whether to apply for the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or do a Masters, or pursue something else entirely, having been made to feel like I wasn't good enough and would never get anywhere by a law lecturer who shall remain anonymous (not just me I hasten to add, he told an entire lecture theatre this), I was very recently reminded that I should never give up my dream. This being a dream, a vision, a passion, call it what you will, that I've had for several years. I've always wanted to study law, to get into the profession, to make a difference. I'd never envisaged doing anything else. But then I was told I was naïve. Maybe. But I'd rather be naïve than attempting to enter the legal profession because I was being seduced by the idea of the Magic Circle, the mega salaries and the extravagant bonuses. I've never been interested in working in the elitist firms and earning a fortune. I want to work in the legal profession for truly altruistic reasons. I want to help people. I want to make a difference. And to be honest, I'm not bothered if I'm not making a killer fortune.

The Law Society have recently (28th July 2009) tried to dissuade potential students and applicants from embarking on a career in law. I know there is a recession and that lawyers across different sectors are being laid off, and that training contracts have been made even more scarce, and as a result of this, it's going to get increasingly harder to progress from a degree to a career. Fair enough, I know it's expensive. Degrees and professional qualifications are not cheap. Students need to be realistically aware of the debt involved. But what about those of us that have that dream, that vision, that passion of having a career in law? The comments on the above article certainly made for interesting reading.

Anonymous | 28-Jul-2009 7:46 pm
"Now it is open to anyone with £10,000 and a dream. It is a shame all round."

Yes it is a god damn shame that those of us with a real passion for the Law are being dissuaded, discouraged and shoved out of the door with not so much as a backward glance. Who wants a generic work force? Surely passion and dreams are the keys to having an amazing career that we care about and genuinely approach with enthusiasm?

Saying that, students are constantly being fed the idea that the route to a career is a rosy path. Degree, LPC, training contract (TC) and ta-da you've made it. Sorry, but these days it's just not that simple. To believe that this is the only route to becoming a solicitor is misleading. I for one, thought that was the only way. But then my eyes were truly opened. There are alternative routes. Having the LPC qualification under your belt does not guarantee you a training contract. However, at Law School, the idea of undergoing formal training with the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) is much under-publicized. It's a much more affordable route, and you don't have to have a 2 year training contract to complete at the end of it. And you can enter it at any stage, whether that's without any professional qualifications, with a law degree, or with or without the LPC. This is definitely a route I am going to further research.

Some of the more positive comments on the above mentioned story are more in line with my way of thinking.

Anonymous | 28-Jul-2009 10:13 pm
"This is all about personality. If one has an abundance of drive and ambition (and a bit of technical ability) one will get very far in this profession. The art of bullshit needs to be learned in these tough times. The Law Society needs to back off."

Anonymous | 29-Jul-2009 10:45 am
"The job market as a whole is suffering. If law is your passion, if it is truly what you want to do with your life, then nothing can stand in your way."

Jack Vance | 30-Jul-2009 0:30 am
"But if you have a 2.1 from a decent uni and interest in and aptitude for legal practice, then you should get a position somewhere if you are more open minded and less short term focused. Someone who is focused will always do well in whatever legal practice area they choose. I don't care if it's criminal law. The top criminal lawyers in England make very good money. Become an expert in whatever field you choose and you'll do very well."

If you take anything from this, it should be that your dream is the one thing that nobody can take from you. Go after it, chase it, pursue it, make it real, make it happen, no matter who puts you down or the obstacles that may stand in your way.

Anonymous | 30-Jul-2009 8:56 am
"I recommend anyone who truly wants be a solicitor and didn't get their first or doesn't have the family connections, get off your ass and get creative!!!"

Believe in yourself, believe in your dream and have the courage to fight for it. Stand your ground, fight your corner and say your piece. You will get there in the end if you want it enough. Your passion is worth striving for.

Until next time,

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

A look and mini review using my splurge items!

Hey everyone

I splurged yesterday. And today I tried out 2 of my new GOSH products, the effect powder in Sunstone and the Glamourous Eye Shadow in Grey Brown.

Here's a quick look at the products:

Quick review of the eye shadow

I really like the eyeshadow, it's got a lovely pigmented colour. Compared to other eye shadows I've used, it doesn't go everywhere when you run an eye shadow brush over it to pick up colour which is nice. It goes onto the eye nicely and I didn't get any fallout. It lasted all day and didn't crease. Then again I did use a base and had another colour under it. Also, it blends fantastically well. If I were you, get down to your nearest Superdrug and stock up while the 3 for 2 offer is on! You will not be disappointed!

On to the look, and this is what I did with the two colours:

(Click the image above to go to the full size)

How did I achieve it? Simple.

1) Firstly, apply Gosh Eye Shadow Base
2) Blend base a little with a blending brush or your eye shadow brush, either will do
3) I lined my upper and lower lash lines with Avon Glimmersticks Eye Liner in black just to thicken out the look of my eye lashes. You can use whatever colour you prefer, or not bother, it's up to you.
4) Using your eye shadow brush, pick up a little of the Sunstone effect powder and apply to the eye area. I tend to work from the inner corner outwards and make sure I get a nice even layer. As you can see from the photos, I went right up to the brow and to the outer corner of my eye, in line with the end of my brows
5) Using your eye shadow brush, pick up a little of the Grey Brown eye shadow and cover the lid area up to the crease. Build up colour as and where you want it.
6) Using a blending brush, just gently blend over the crease area so the two colours seemlessly blend together. Take your time and blend gently
7) When you're happy with the way it looks, you're all done. I did go over my eyeliner again on the upper lash line and then lined my waterline. But again, this is totally up to you.

Until next time,

Monday, 27 July 2009


Ahaha I just went to Superdrug to get something and came out with 3 more GOSH products. So much for saving my money lol! Oops!

I got two more effect powders in Sunstone (a goldish bronze shimmer that will replace my almost empty Bella Pierre Champagne eye colour - GOSH being a much cheaper alternative) and Copper (a coppery brown). I was going to get the dark brown one then thought it might look a bit too dark once it's on so I opted for something I've not tried before, a Glamourous Eye Shadow in #14 Grey Brown, a lush mocha colour. I shall try them tomorrow and let you know what I think.

Until next time,

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Movies & Music

I have something amazing to share with you :D As a kid, I loved Disney's Alice In Wonderland. So when I heard it was being remade, by TIM BURTON, no less, I was very excited. Then a couple of days ago it was trending on Twitter. And after I did some digging, I found the official trailer online. It looks absolutely awesome and I cannot wait for March 5th 2010 to get here. I'm definitely getting myself down to a cinema. So I thought. It's also going to be released at IMAX cinemas - so methinks I'm off to Manchester :D Soooo excited!!!

In other news, I was listening to Nihal on Radio 1 this afternoon and he played Muse's new track which was the first time I heard it. And I absolutely loved it. Sounds a little bit Queen-esque. Well worth a listen if you haven't heard it already.

Also wanted to say that I'm totally into Crying Lightning by the Arctic Monkeys and A Dustland Fairytale by The Killers. Both awesome tracks. Get YouTubing folks :D

Until next time,

Friday, 17 July 2009

Review: Eye Shadow Base and Effect Powder by Gosh Cosmetics

Ok so I finally bought the eye shadow base. My local Superdrug now have a huge range of Gosh products in and they were on offer (3 for 2) and I couldn't resist. At £5.87 it was relatively cheap. I wanted a new eye shadow brush, and as it was 3 for 2 I decided to try an Effect Powder (£5.38). I bought in 'Meringue'. They also let me use my student discount on top. Win!

On to the review and I'll start with the Eye Shadow Base

Don't need much
Good consistency but does need a blend
Makes colour *pop*
Stays all day

Gosh also say:
Doesn't melt


The base has a lovely creamy consistency and easily transfers from the stick to your eye area. Once on I blended out with my finger but your average eye shadow brush works just as well. First time I used it I went with my daytime makeup which consisted of eye shadow powder in neutral tones (True Colour Eye Shadow Quad in Sueded Nude from Avon). The colours worked really well on top of the base. They applied well and their true colours showed up in comparison to just putting it straight on your eye area without a base. I think the colours blended better on top of the base as well which was an added bonus. When I came to remove my makeup at the end of the day it had stayed in place and there was no creasing which was fantastic. If summer ever returns I'll see if it holds up to the claims that it doesn't melt in hot temperatures.

Here's what I thought of the Effect Powder

Good pigmentation
Don't need much on a brush if using on top of the base
No creasing
Stays all day


The second time I used the base, I used Gosh' Effect Powder in Meringue as my eye shadow on top of the base. With it being a pearly iridescent pink, I thought it'd be quite understated and not have much impact. Boy was I wrong. The base really helped it to 'pop'. It stayed on all day, blended incredibly well and didn't crease. The base also holds up to it's promise about being waterproof. A big plus with the Effect Powder is when I absentmindedly rubbed my eye, it totally stayed put and didn't come off which was great and a definite added bonus if you were to compare it with say, the Barry M Dazzle Dust pots. Oo that reminds me, I totally love Gosh for this, their effect powders have little sifters on them so the product doesn't go everywhere. Whereas Barry M Dazzle Dusts don't have these sifters on and the stuff goes EVERYWHERE. On the website, Gosh say that the Effect Powders are multi functional. I used it as a highlighter on my cheekbones and it looked fine as it's nice and fine and not obvious or heavy. Gave me a nice healthy glow. It seems similar to the Bella Pierre Cosmetics eye shadows that I raved on about a couple of posts back, so I'm assuming these Effect Powders can be used as nail polish and lip gloss too. When I buy some clear lip gloss I'll let you know how that goes. I've not tried this or my Bella Pierre products as a nail varnish but maybe one day I'll bite that bullet. Either way I'll let you know =]

So Gosh is a definite winner, and a brand I am most definitely going to start using more. Who needs MAC when we've got Gosh huh?

All in all I'd say the eye shadow base should definitely be a staple item in any girl's makeup bag. Most primers I've seen are anywhere from £10 - £30. With Gosh coming in just under £6, what's not to love? And if you wanted to build up your eye shadow collection, Effect Powders are well worth a try and they've got so many lush colours to choose from. If I were you, go for it, this is a purchase you won't regret.

Until next time,


Thursday, 16 July 2009

Blue, blue, blue

No, not me, my nails :D

As much as I wanted my nails to stay that fancy polka dot design I had for the last week, the urge to try out 'Hanover Street' proved too much.

And ta-da! Here you go!

I'll probably give the pink a whirl next week but it wasn't the colour I was expecting. Suppose that goes to prove that you can't always rely on eBay photos lol! If/when I get my camera sorted I'll post a polka dot tutorial. As you can probably tell I'm using the camera on my phone, which needless to say, isn't that great. Fingers crossed I'll sort something out soon.

Until next time,

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

What's going on in my world?

It's been a while, or so it seems, since I last posted. I've been a busy bee. I went to see Derren Brown's 'Enigma' at the Adelphi in London last Thursday (9th July). Wow! What an awesome night! I won't give anything away as Derren asked us not to and I wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone. If you were thinking about going, definitely get tickets to his next show, it was definitely worth the money. I had an amazing time and I didn't get lost in London. Win!

I also discovered that my camera has broken. Again. So I have no photos from London. And I wanted to show you my nail designs. Not going to happen =[ I'll have to see if I can find a camera to use.

Been on a bit of a makeup shopping spree today. Bought some Gosh Cosmetics products that I haven't used before so I'll have something to blog about again soon.

Such an idiot though, spent over £12 on MaxFactor and FORGOT to pick up my free gift. DUH! My memory is increasingly useless to me! Oh well next time lol. I also have some more Nails Inc bargains courtesy of eBay. Check out these GORGEOUS colours that I picked up for a couple of quid:

That's Hanover Street (blue) and Picadilly Circus (pink)

Quite excited to try all this out. I'll try and update soon :)

Until next time,

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Review: 120 Pro Palette (eBay)

Like you, I started out following Panacea81 (the fabulous Lauren Luke) on YouTube. (If you haven't what have you been doing?!) From there I branched out and found some other great makeup tutorial-ists (yes I made that word up) and found a lot of them talking about the wonderful 120 Pro Palette. I have to say I was a little sceptical with it being made and shipped from Hong Kong. Firstly I thought it'd take ages to arrive. Wrong. 2 days. I thought all the colours would be broken up in transit. Wrong again. I thought the colours wouldn't be the same as advertised. Wrong yet again. The colours were just wow. I was amazed, truth be told.

So I began to use said palette. Here is where the disappointment began. I didn't think much to the pigmentation. You need a LOT of product to get any sort of impact. And as a result you get a hell of a lot of fallout. I looked like a clown by the time I had finished my first makeup look. It was all over my face. I wish I'd have been warned about this. I tried a variety of looks with different colours. Most of the colours are like eyeshadow powder, but some have a more glittery or creamy texture to them. I wasn't amused by these either. I think I found one look I was truly happy with. But it didn't stay put on my eyelid for long. Even with a base.

I don't know if it's something I'm doing wrong or whether it's just not that great a product. What can you expect for little more than a tenner really? So I guess if you're wanting to recreate looks from YouTube gurus, don't go for the Pro Palette. Save up and buy something that's worth it. I quite like Barry M's Dazzle Dust pots. But you do need a really good application technique because there can be a bit of fallout and it's really obvious with the darker/brighter colours.

A lush product brand that I came across about 18 months ago is Bella Pierre Cosmetics. I got roped into talking to a rep at one of their stalls in my local shopping centre. But I was really impressed with their products. Completely natural and mineral based. Fantastic colours and versatility - their powders can be used as eyeshadow, liner, lipgloss and even nail varnish! I found myself saying yes. Then I got hit with the price. £15 per pot. Woah. Yes I know it's a lot but they were on offer, buy two get two free. So I acquiesced. So I got £60 worth of products for £30. And they mix and blend so fabulously well. I've even used them with the Barry M Dazzle Dust pots. And they last forever. I used one colour practically every day for a year and I've still got half a pot left! I've checked the website and the pots are anywhere from £11.69 to £12.99 each. I know it sounds expensive but when you think of the versatility of the product and how long they last - it's well worth it. And best of all - no fallout! I could talk about Bella Pierre products for ages but I won't or we'll be here forever! I'll give you the link: If you do check them out, let me know what you think :)

That turned into a Bella Pierre love fest didn't it?! Haha.

Until next time

Monday, 6 July 2009

What's that on my shoulder?

I don't know about you, but I for one am getting quite sick of the credit crunch. It's getting the whole country down, and none more so than current graduates and soon-to-be graduates. I've got just under a year until I become a graduate. And I certainly don't see a miraculous recovery of the market by then. Big businesses certainly don't predict a recovery and unemployment is set to soar well into next year with 40% of the unemployed being under 25.

Today's article in The Times has stated that employers are receiving 49 graduate applications per vacancy. ( If you think that's depressing, try being a law student. Any law student worth their salt is reading the trade press, but it's not pretty reading. Law firm after law firm after law firm are ceasing to intake graduates onto their training schemes or deferring training contracts, or worse, canceling them altogether.

If we weren't in a recession, I would have been expected to have a training contract lined up for 2 years time. Competition for such places is always high. In recession Britain, competition is even higher. The bar is effectively being raised for application criteria. It doesn't help that training contracts are scarce and there are an ever increasing number of students taking law. It is apparent that if you're at an 'elite' university you have the highest chance of getting an offer. Indeed, a lecturer at my university reiterated this fact and made out that students such as myself (first in the family to go to uni, no legal contacts, not the greatest academic achiever in all honesty) don't stand a chance. To be honest, when university is being made out to be open to all, he made it seem the exact opposite, and that people like me didn't deserve to be there. There's nothing like a speech like that to make you feel worthless and that you've just wasted almost 2 years of your life and £12,000. It's downright depressing. But regardless, I'm two thirds of the way there. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought of alternative career paths. So, I may be disillusioned and sometimes feel like I just want to give up, but at the end of the day, a career in law was/is my dream. And I'm determined to finish my degree, maybe do a Masters, finances pending, and then move on to the LPC. I've always wanted to be a lawyer. And I'm damned determined to be one. Somehow, some day, I will get there.

Maybe passion is the key? Really show employers why you're better than everyone else. Well. We'll see. I'll tell you what does annoy me. People who are at university just for the sake of it. They slack off and they slack off, yet they're annoyingly clever and beat students like me to these highly sought after job offers. I know employers have to discriminate between applications somewhere, but surely they'd rather employ someone with a passion for the job? Rather than someone who is just after a job. I guess that's at their discretion.

To any first years reading, sorry this is probably quite depressing. But don't despair. With hard work and faith, I'm sure you'll get there. I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. We may be getting a lesson at the school of hard knocks, but I guess that's life.

I read this quote a while back:

"Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it comes softly and sits on your shoulder." (Henry David Thoreau)

I wonder if it applies to jobs?


Saturday, 4 July 2009

PinkPopPolkaDot has gone live!

Hey everyone

In this digital age, I seem to be one of the last to take up blogging! Considering I can talk for England this is quite surprising! But I'll keep this short and sweet. Expect regular updates about pretty much anything. I have a ridiculously ever-increasing (not to mention expensive!) interest in cosmetics. Expect lots on that note. I'm currently on university vacation until the end of September. Blogging in relation to Law will come then unless anything particularly interesting/frustrating/funny catches my eye.

I could ramble on forever, but won't. Until next time :)