Since exam season is coming up, I would like to share some of my advice for revision to help you be prepared, stay focused and do well in your upcoming exams!

When you think of exams, I assume your first thought would be stress because all your precious time are being used up, going through a topic over and over again to get it ingrained in your mind. I know, it's aggravating. But, honestly, you're going to need to get used to it if you want to do well in your exams! 

To help you handle the stress you'll be feeling throughout exams season, I suggest meditation. Meditation is a wonderful practice that has many benefits. It will help you clear your mind, calm you down, relieve you of any anxiety or anger or even depression, make you more aware of your physical being and sharpen your focus. I believe practicing meditation is a necessity in life and practicing it daily will keep you mentally and physically healthy - so meditating on a daily basis, perhaps during your breaks or in the mornings, will help you stay focused and mentally prepared for your exams!

I like to use this app called Stop, Breathe and Think. I've been using the app to meditate for about a week or two now and I've noticed a big difference! Before I discovered it, I've been having small panic attacks (mainly because I was hella nervous for my final drama performance) and because of that I wasn't able to focus on my studies and I kept procrastinating. But using this app has made me so calm and it had a positive impact on my performance in my drama exam! 

Via http://www.stopbreathethink.org/?

Another way to revise well is to be organised. Before starting your revision, first make a list of the subjects that you need to study in order with your weakest subject at the top. This will help you determine which subjects you need to study the most and will therefore save you a lot of time. 

Once you have made your list, you can create a revision timetable. Add the subjects you're revising in the time that's appropriate for you with breaks in between. Make sure you're studying at least 3 hours a day - over working yourself will only make you more stressed and tired. And, have at least a day off from revising. You can't just spend all your time revising - have some fun every once in a while (but not too much)! 

An example: my revision timetable c:

Organisation is key to revising well!

Studying in a quiet place is best for your revision. This will keep you focused on your work without distractions. One good example of a quiet place to revise in is the library - they even have the books and resources you may need for revision! 

Revising in the same environment as the environment of the exam you're taking will help you improve your memory. So I suggest going to the library is best if you want to do well! 

Get the right textbooks. If you're doing GCSE's, it's best to know what exam board your subject is from so you can get the right textbook to study from. Revising with the correct books will familiarise you with what kind of questions they'll have in the exam and the recommended exam technique to use to gain full marks. 

For example, Religious studies is from the exam board Edexcel. Getting a textbook from Edexcel would be useful because it contains the exam technique to use, what kind of question they'll be asking and all the information you need to learn for the exam and the units to study.

Organise your revision notes in a binder. Doing this will make revising much easier, quicker and less stressful as everything you need to know is all in one place. And organising the notes to its correct topic or subject will make it easier for when you need to refer back to something!

Last but not least, talk to your teachers. If you're stuck on a particular part of the subject, then always ask your teachers for help and guidance! You can come to them at lunchtimes or after school and ask them for individual tutoring or past papers or advice for the exam! 

I hope you find this helpful and if you have any other tips and advice for revising well, then please feel free to share them!

If you also have further questions or you want more advice, feel free to drop a message here.

Nicole ᵔᴥᵔ

Special Update

I would like to announce that I have a post up on Natalie's blog! It's about my passion for art and I would really love it if you checked it out! 
Recently, I bought a philtrum hair remover from Etude House via YesStyle.co.uk. I found this a very unique hair removal tool, so I decided to try it out and share my honest thoughts and opinions on this (weird but wonderful) product!

A philtrum hair remover works similar to threading, except it's metal and instead of continually pulling the thread, you roll the metal spring over your face, as if you're shaving, and the hair gets tangled in the spring and pulls it out as you roll it. It's a simple tool that's easy to use, easier than threading and plucking in my opinion! 


For this review, I tried the product out on my upper lip where I have a fem-stache (a female moustache lol) on my ugly bare face:

BEFORE

AFTER
Above are the images of before trying the product out and after. As you can see in the results, the product was slightly effective and it did managed to remove hair but not all of it unfortunately. After using it, it left my skin red and irritated and I had to pluck out the remaining hair that the philtrum didn't manage to pull out.

Using it was painful - the level of pain I felt was equivalent to threading, plucking and waxing combined!

However, I still find it a simple, quick and easy way to remove hair. Whilst threading requires you to set up some thread and plucking is slow and it takes a long time as you're pulling hair individually, a philtrum simply requires you to roll it over your face like you're shaving.

Pros:
- Easier and simpler to use than threading or plucking
- The spring is wide so it's quicker to remove hair in all areas
- It's pink and cute :D

Cons:
- It hurts like hell
- It is not as effective as what I expected 
- I would not recommend this to people with sensitive skin!

This is a cool and unique tool but I honestly think there are better alternatives, such as waxing. But I would recommend this to people with tough skin that can tolerate pain and who want a quick hair removal if they didn't have the time to pluck or thread or wax their fem-stache or any other areas in your face with undesired hair!

I hope you find my first beauty review helpful and if you do ever try this out (or something similar) then please tell me your thoughts on it!

Nicole 

Teaching yourself a new language but you can't get around at being good at it?

You're probably thinking that learning a new language may seem easy because you can just learn the grammar and expand your vocabulary, but honestly it is more than that.

When learning a new language, you don't consider just learning the vocab and grammar, you also have to consider pronunciation, different sayings (like slang, informal or formal languages), the writing system (like the alphabet), homophones, etc. Learning a new language is difficult - trust me, it took me couple of years to understand and practice the conjugation of verbs in different participles in French and months to memorise and get use to the Hiragana system in Japanese.

So, if you are learning a foreign language by yourself and are struggling then here I will write down a short guide with some tips and advice based on my past experiences from learning languages!



Buy a dictionary. You don't know how important a dictionary is when learning a new language. It is your best friend that will help you expand your vocabulary and be there for you when you don't know what a word is when reading or watching in the language you're learning.

Also buy lots of textbooks and workbooks. Buying textbooks and workbooks will help a loooong way: textbooks will have all the information you need on the grammar and workbooks will test your knowledge with a series of exercises and questions.

Read and watch shows/films in the language you're learning. This will help give you an idea of how those people speak (articulation and accent) and pronunciation of words. For example, in Japanese people pronounce their R's like L's. It will also help you practice your understanding and listening skills.

Talk to people who speak your learning language. Doing this will help you practice your speaking skills and learn more about different sayings/slang. Ask that person for constructive criticism so you know what you can work on and improve. Timothy Doner, the youngest polyglot, has taught himself and mastered 23 languages by speaking to people around him and online through YouTube!

Practice you're writing skills by writing a story. I mean, you don't have to create your own story, you can simply translate an extract from a book or a song or poem or something from a film or TV show.

Write down everything you learn. You can keep a vocabulary book, where you write down every new word you learn. Writing down what you learned will help you memorise them.

You can also keep a grammar book, where every time you learn a new grammatical rule, you write it down (include an example to make it easier to understand when you look back on it!)

Test your vocabulary with flash cards. Write down the english word (or whatever your original speaking language is) on a card and write down its translation in the back. Then, have someone hold out the card or say the word and you have to translate it.

Listen to songs in the language. This will also help expand your vocabulary and familiarise you with articulation.

If you can, visit the country that speaks your learning language. You will be immersed in the language. At school, we had a French Immersion trip, where we went to Lille. Throughout the trip, we had to speak only french and no english. It was honestly a nightmare but it was very helpful!

This is all you need to know when learning a foreign language! Hopefully, this will guide you to fluency in the language you're learning!

Remember, don't be too hard on yourself when you can't get it right - it takes lots of practice and time so be patient! You will get there eventually.

Nicole ᵔ

Hey!

If you're a wannabe artist who's struggling a little bit in drawing realism then, as a fellow art student, I'm giving you 5 tips on drawing realistic objects!

1. First, have good pencils. This is going to sound obvious, but it's true. No matter what medium you work with in art, you must have good, quality materials so your results can be a good, quality finished piece.

Pencils that I do recommend for good, quality finished realistic drawings are Faber Castell sketching pencils, the sketching pencils that they sell in WHSmith, Derwent pencils and Staedtler pencils (as shown in the image above of my proud 4-hours-worth drawing of an eye). They usually come in packs with 5 pencils, graded from 4H to 3B (the lightest pencil to the darkest pencil). These are the pencils that I personally use but if you don't have these, then make the most of what you already have!

2. Start off with a lighter pencil/hand. When drawing something, always start off light then gradually go darker. This makes it easier to erase any mistakes you made when drawing your rough outline - it is a nightmare erasing a drawing where you pressed too hard!

You can draw with a light pencil, like a 4H or HB pencil, then what I do is swap pencil to a much darker pencil like 2B (I also use this pencil to shade). If you don't have different graded pencils, then draw with a light hand and then press slightly harder on the paper to go darker!

3. Measure, then outline. When drawing a person, outlining guidelines will help you a looong way! This method will make your portrait more proportionate and, therefore, realistic.

From fuckyeaharttutorials.tumblr.com

4. Have high quality source material. This is something that I hear in every art class from my teacher. He tells us that high quality art studies come from high quality source material. Which true though. I mean, if you're drawing an animal from a crappy photo on your Blackberry then you're going to struggle drawing it because you can't see the details of the picture. Print the image you're drawing, large and high quality, on nice paper. This will make drawing that animal easier!

5. Polish your drawings. Once you finished, take your drawing and compare it with the image you drew it from and see if you need some polishing to - e.g. make that shading darker, add more eyelashes on that eye, etc. Reviewing and perfecting your drawing will ensure that it is proportionate and looks like your image.

So there you have it! 5 useful tips that you can use when you're drawing realism! You don't need to follow these tips as these methods may not apply to everyone, but these are just what I do whenever I draw.

You can see my other art tips here if you'd like!

I hope you find these useful and happy drawing!


Nicole ᵔ

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