Wednesday, 6 June 2018

New York Haul Part 1


Wow okay, it's been a long time since I posted anything on here. The last few weeks of college were full of assignments and studying and then exams came and went and my trip to New York was what was getting me through it all!

I went to New York for five days with my best friend Kayleigh and had the most amazing time! We got to see all the sites, see a baseball game and of course, did all the shopping!

Since I bought so much, I'll be breaking my haul into two parts, so this one will be all of the stuff I bought from Bath & Body Works, Ulta Beauty and Apple


Bath & Body Works

Black Cherry Merlot 3-Wick

Okay so I went to Bath & Body Works for the candles, I am obsessed. My mum brought me one home from the States almost two years ago and I wouldn't burn it completely until I had gotten some more! 

I usually go for sickly sweet scents, I love them so much. That's why I was surprised that I loved this candle so much. It's not overly sweet (I think it's the Merlot?) and it's a candle you could put into your sitting room that everyone would love.

This candle even got my bag searched at JFK which I thought was gas, who knew candles were what smugglers were using!

Watermelon Lemonade 3-Wick

The second candle I got was Watermelon Lemonade and I love it! I love everything watermelon so I knew I was walking out of there with something watermelon scented.

This candle isn't too sweet or overpowering so I will definitely be using this when I'm studying!

Sparkling Limoncello Hand Lotion

I'm trying to use hand lotion more often and this one just smelt so nice I had to buy it! Lemon is such a fresh scent and I cannot wait to use it!

Watermelon Lemonade Foaming Soap

This soap smells just like the candle so of course, I had to buy it. I don't know when I'm going to use it though because I'm going away in a week and a half and I won't be packing soap with me!

Island Margarita Cleansing Soap

I love citrus-scented things so when I tried this soap, I just had to have it too! There's aloe and vitamin e in this soap which helps to keep hands soft.

Lemon Grapefruit Foaming Soap

This soap smells so nice as well! Lemon is definitely the most fragrant in the soap and I love it. The vitamins a. b and e aim to keep your hands smooth.


Ulta Beauty

Formula 10.0.6 Be Berry Fresh Mud Mask

I saw the Formula 10.0.6 range in Ulta and I just had to try some of it out! This mask is aimed at detoxing pores and I love neroli (one of the main ingredients) so I'm looking forward to trying it out!

Formula 10.0.6 So Totally Clean Cleanser

So I don't have acne but I do like the effect salicylic acid has had on my skin in the past. It's aimed at clearing blackheads and whiteheads so I'm looking forward to incorporating it into my skincare routine.

Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation

I honestly don't know why I bought this foundation because I have so many to get through but I can't buy it over here so I decided to try it out! The Healthy Foundation is a new foundation from the brand that has buildable medium to full coverage with a satin finish.

I went for LC1 because I'm pale and usually go for foundations with a cool undertone. The range has sixteen shades so if you can't find one that suits you, you can always mix!

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer

I couldn't go to the stand and not pick up a Butter Bronzer! Every single American Youtuber or blogger I follow has raved about this bronzer so I'm glad I finally get to try it out for myself!

I picked it up in the shade Bronzer.

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer Fair Beige

So last summer my sister picked up this concealer in fair and while she did let me try it out, it was too pale for me! I swatched a load of the concealers when I was in the store and found fair beige was the best match for me.

This concealer is exclusive to Ulta Beauty and is amazing for covering up dark circles!

Tartelette Toasted Palette

Okay so I know I have an abundance of palettes but all of the Tartelette palettes were on sale and I couldn't resist! I am a warm tone and metallic queen so this palette was right up my alley.

This palette has seven mattes and five shimmer shades and the formula is just so creamy! I cannot wait to use this palette over the next few months (It's definitely coming to Portugal with me)!

L'Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation 101 Classic Ivory

I don't know if there's a difference between the infallible matte you can get here and the infallible pro-matte I got in New York but the shade range is so much better over there!

I got a very pale shade that I can't buy at home but is perfect for my skin tone and I can darken it if needed over the summer. I really do love the foundation, the coverage and finish is just fantastic.

Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip Fresh Cut

I love Colourpop and the fact that some stores stock it now is fantastic! I saw the little stand at a store in the city and I couldn't resist!

I love Colourpop's matte lipstick and Fresh Cut is described as a true blue pink. I wanted a pale pink to wear for the summer and I think this is so cute!

Colourpop Super Shock Highlighter Flexitarian 

I love a good highlight and always dip into my sister's flexitarian so I decided it was time I bought my own! It's described as an intense white champagne with pearlized finish. I think it looks so nice with a barely there look or with fake tan.

Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator Peach Glow

I clearly have a thing for glowy looks. I picked this up in Ulta Beauty because it was on sale and it was just so nice when I swatched it!

L'Oréal Makeup Bag

I spent so much in the store that I got this holographic makeup bag as well. It's quite big and I'll definitely be bringing it away with me to Portugal!


Apple


I also bought a new phone while I was in New York! My old phone didn't work properly and I'm so happy that I can finally make calls again!


Have you ever been to New York?
What was your favourite part?

Let me know in the comments below!


Ciara,
xoxo.
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Thursday, 22 March 2018

21 Days with Herbalife


Hey guys!

So some of you may know from my social media, some of you may not, but I've been using some of Herbalife's range of products for the last three weeks.

If you haven't heard of the brand, they have tailored their range of products towards successful weight loss and improved nutrition. 

The products I was sent to trial were tailored to my needs after I had contact with the brand and their resident personal trainer. I got sent some of the Herbalife range and some of the Herbalife 24 Sports range.

I have been using them for the last 21 days and cannot wait to share my views with you guys and if you've used any of the products as well!

Herbalife 24 Sports 

I combine tennis and the gym as my physical exercise each week and because of this, I got sent CR7 Drive along with Strength Rebuilding protein shake. The combination of both helping me to fuel my workouts and recover after!

CR7 Drive

CR7 Drive is designed to rapidly fuel workouts and enhance hydration. Designed in collaboration with Ronaldo, the product helps to sustain endurance performance during prolonged exercise.

The product comes in a canister with 20 servings or a box with 10 sachets, both acai berry flavour. I used the mix before my tennis training and I found it help me maintain my energy levels throughout the sessions. I like the flavour and I found it best when mixed with cold water because the drink was nicer when it the water was refrigerated beforehand.

Rebuild Strength Protein Shake

While I don't particularly like chocolate flavoured things (not even ice cream!), I did find myself enjoy this shake post-workout. My gym routine is very weight-orientated so this formula helps me to recover after workouts.

I added the powder to water but I always had to measure out the quantity beforehand because I still don't have a scoop! When mixed according to the directions, the shake has 190 calories so it can easily be added into anyone's food for the day.

Overall, I liked the sports range because it did help me both before and after exercise and while I still have some of the products left, I will definitely be buying more once they're gone.


Herbalife

The majority of the products I received was from the Herbalife range, geared towards healthy weight loss and improving nutrition.

I started my day with a combination of the products and snacked on some throughout the day as well.

Instant Herbal Beverage

Instead of reaching for coffee in the morning, I've been going for this lemon flavoured herbal drink. It's main ingredient is green tea which I drink occasionally anyway and while the drink can be had hot or cold, I drink it with hot water.

It's also a low calorie formula which is handy as it contains less calories but more nutrients than your average cup of tea!

Formula 1 Healthy Meal Replacement

Along with the tea, I've been having this meal replacement shake for my breakfast. I mix two tablespoons with 250ml of milk in a shaker each morning and it fills me up until lunch if it's a late breakfast or until mid morning if it's an early breakfast.

I got sent the vanilla formula which is tasty but the range is so vast and includes flavours like cookies and cream as well as chocolate mint. If you're looking for a healthy meal replacement that is low in calories but contains the nutrients needed, the formula 1 healthy meal is perfect.

However, if you're not looking to lose weight and just want to boost your nutrient intake as well as add a few extra calories to your daily intake, this formula is great for that as well!

The canister unfortunately got damaged in the post so the lid was completely broken so I've managed to get a makeshift lid for what's left of the formula as there's 30 servings in each canister.

Protein Bar

The protein bars have to be my absolute favourite part of the range. Instead of reaching for a chocolate bar (which I usually do), I brought a protein bar to college everyday so I was snacking on something with less calories and more protein than I usually would.

I got sent the vanilla almond flavour which is yum, I've basically gone through the two boxes (14 bars per box), so I will definitely be trying the lemon flavour next!

Each bar has 140 calories which is just under the recommended calorie count of 150 calories per snack. I have tried a lot of protein bars and I definitely prefer these to other ones I've had, especially since the average protein bar contains a lot more than 140 calories.

Herbal Aloe Concentrate Drink - Mango Flavour

The final product I tried from the range was the herbal aloe concentrate drink, which aims to help you reach the daily recommended water intake of 2 litres. 

Marketed as a healthier alternative to fizzy drinks, I was a bit skeptical of trying the concentrate. I've had it a few times now, mixing the recommended amount with a litre of water and drinking it throughout the day in college. 

I'm not the biggest fan of this product at all. I can't quite place the flavour. It's not a bad flavour it's just an unusual one and something I usually wouldn't go for myself. Other than that, the fact that it could replace fizzy drinks in some people's diets is definitely a good thing!


Overall, I liked the majority of the products I was lucky enough to be sent, with the exception of one. While I was sent these products for free, it hasn't altered my opinions of the products at all. If I didn't like something, I would definitely tell you guys.

Over the past three weeks, combined with my exercise regime, I have used the range to fuel workouts and help me in my weightloss journey and I can definitely attribute these products to helping me along the way!

All of the products mentioned above are available at www.herbalife.ie along with many more products I hope to try soon!


Have you ever tried Herbalife before?
What did you think of the products?
Did they help you along the way?

Let me know in the comments below!

Ciara,
xoxo.
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Monday, 19 March 2018

My Current Skincare Routine


Hey guys!

So I've been MIA for a while because college work kept on piling up and I was taking more hours in work so I could have enough money for my summer travels!

I'm back now and I am going to try really hard to be consistent and stay on top of my assignments at the same time!

One thing I have been working on over the past few weeks is a skincare regime that works for my skin and I'm gonna let you guys know what I've been loving and what's been helping my skin out as well.

& Other Stories - Body Soufflé (Miami Muse)


I've been using this body soufflé after every shower for the past few weeks and it feels fabulous!
It smells so sweet and makes my skin feel hydrated and smooth.

I wasn't one to use anything on my body (unless is was before or after tanning) before I started using this and I don't know what I ever did without it!

& Other Stories have a range of body soufflés in store and online for €12.

Payot Peeling Oxygénant Dépolluant


A PR company kindly sent me this peeling mask to try a few weeks ago and I have been loving it! What intrigued me originally was the fact that it bubbled on your face and few seconds after application but since using it, I have noticed a real difference in my skin!

It's an exfoliating mask without any particles and it has really helped even out my skin and help it loo healthier and brighter! It's also pink so what's not to love?

Payot's Peeling Oxygénant Dépolluant has a €38 RRP and is available in selected pharmacies and online!

Sephora Overnight Mask


I stocked up on Sephora's range of overnight masks while I was in Milan and have been making my way through them since.

I find it best to use these once or twice a week and after I open one (there's about three applications per pack) I leave it in the fridge until I use it next. Leaving it on overnight and washing the remnants off in the morning really lets the mask and all its goodness sink into your skin.

My favourite mask so far is the algae mask as it helps to purify and detoxify the skin which is great after weekends away!

Sephora's range of overnight masks are available for €3 from stores and online.

Nivea's Micellar Water for Dry Skin


When I'm too lazy to do my whole routine at night I just use this micellar water and some moisturiser before bed. It's so much better than using makeup wipes (which I'm usually very guilty of using) and much kinder on your skin as well.

I use this every morning as well just to go over my skin and make sure it's clean before I start any makeup.

I bought it in Superdrug a few months ago and haven't seen it since but there's so many great brands out there with fabulous micellar water!

The Ordinary - Salicylic Acid 2% Solution


Okay so I have a love-hate relationship with this solution. It's marketed as a daily solution for blemishes that claims to gently exfolaite the inside walls of the skin, clearing and clarifying the complexion.

The instructions on the bottle say apply directly to blemishes or a small amount all over the face. I started with applying a small amount all over my face and it was working well for a few weeks until I started to give me salicylic burn on a patch of my skin so I discontinued use for a few days until it cleared. After it cleared, I started to use it all over my face except on the patch that it had irritated and it was doing wonders for me again.

The other night, I stupidly applied it all over my face again and woke up in the middle of the night with my face stinging me again, only to find I had salicylic burn on the same patch again. While it works on most of my face, it does clearly irritate patches of it so the jury's still out on this one!

The Ordinary's Salicylic Acid 2% Solution is available from Beauty Bay for €4.70.

L'Oreal's Fine Flowers Gel-Cream Wash


This gel-cream is perfect for dry and sensitive skin, both of which I have, as rose is known for its soothing properties and jasmine is known for its protecting and moisturising properties. This wash is unscented and lathers easily in water.

I use this wash in the shower (yes I am that lazy) every second day. I apply it to wet skin and massage it all over my face and neck. It helps my skin stay hydrated and it provides the perfect base for makeup in the morning!

I picked this wash up in Dunnes on a whim but it is available from FeelUnique for €4.80.

Kotoha London's Shoyaku Herb Essence Silk Cream


The lovely Yoko from Kotoha London sent me this to try a few months ago and I am in love with it! This moisturiser can be used on normal, oily and combination skin.

I use it sparingly and on very dry patches of my skin when needed and it works wonders overnight. The cream helps to reduce the appearance of open pores and when applied on dry patches of my skin overnight, and not rubbing the cream in, it sinks into my skin and helps to hydrate my skin and reduce the appearance of dry patches, helping them to disappear over a few days.

I love the quality of this product and the fact that it doesn't have a scent. The product comes with a lid but I lost it on my travels a few weeks ago!

The Silk Cream is available from Kotoha London for €43.52.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Cleanser


This is my third bottle of this cleanser and I love it! I used it to remove my makeup at night, along with the micellar water and it leaves my skin feeling clean after removing all my makeup!

You don't have to rinse the cleanser off which is great and it smells fantastic as well! The cleanser helps to cleanse the skin as well as locking in moisture.

Neutrogena's Hydro Boost Cleanser is available for €10.99 from Boots.


They're all the products I'm using in my skincare routine at the moment! 
Do you use any of the same products?
What did you think of them?

Let me know in the comments below!

Ciara,
xoxo.
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Wednesday, 31 January 2018

January Favourites!


Hey guys!

I can't believe it's already the end of January! The month flew by for me!

As I wasn't in college until the end of the month, I had so much time to try out new makeup and I found some new favourites along the way!

HudaBeauty Mauve Obsessions

I got this palette off CultBeauty for my birthday and I love it! The shadows range from matte to metallic and are perfect for deepening any eye look or creating an entire look from this palette!

Although the pans are small, I have so many palettes that I will never get to the end of  (this one included) and for €25, the quality is worth the size of the pans!

I found myself reaching for this palette throughout the month and was so excited when I saw the entire obsessions range in Brown Thomas the other day!

Mauve Obsessions along with the rest of the range are available from Brown Thomas for €28.

Real Techniques Angled Tweezer

I cannot tell you whether it's because this is a brand new pair of tweezers or because I haven't used one in so long but I am obsessed with this one from Real Techniques! 

Unfortunately I got this as part of a set ages ago but I only started using it recently. It is so dreamy to work with so easy to get at eyebrow hairs at awkward angles!

Payot Pate Grise L'Originale

I got this little jar sent to me a few months ago and have been using it ever since. You may have seen my instagram post on it as well!

The cream (it has a cream consistency anyway) is best dabbed on spots overnight and left to soak into the skin. I found it really helped aggravated spots overnight and they were not as noticeable the next day.

After the Christmas indulgence, this definitely helped my skin recover over the last few weeks! The only downside to this product is that it stains pillowcases so definitely put a towel over your pillowcase at night!

Payot Pate Grise L'Originale is available in pharmacies nationwide with an RRP of €23.

LOV EVENelixir Serum Foundation

This foundation is so nice! What's even better is that there's a dropper in the bottle so you minimise product wastage (yes I usually have loads of foundation left on my hand). The foundation is medium coverage so I used a concealer along with it but the lasting power was fabulous.

I tend to chop and change between foundations but with continued use, this foundation claims to even out your skin tone and improve skin elasticity!

LOV's EVENelixir serum foundation is available in selected pharmacies nationwide and retails for around €15!

Kelkin Tea Tree Roller

This tea tree skin treatment has done wonders for my skin over the past few weeks. I used this during the day, in conjunction with the payot product because this could be worn under makeup and absorbs straight into the skin.

I honestly don't know what I did before I discovered this gem, it works within hours and is travel friendly as well!

Kelkin's Tea Tree Roller is available is pharmacies nationwide for €4.60.

NYX Professional Makeup Soft Matte Lip Cream - Cairo

If you guys follow my instagram, you'll know that I'm a fan of this line already. However, I don't usually delve into the paler side of nudes but when I got this in the post I was intrigued enough to try it!

While I wouldn't wear this with a single drop of tan on me, it is a nice shade for a neutral, daytime look! I stand by what I've said in previous posts though, the soft matte lip creams are in no way matte! They may look matte but you need to blot your lips a few times to make sure nothing transfers!

Soft Matte Lip Creams are available in selected pharmacies nationwide and Arnotts, with an RRP of €8.

Urban Decay B6 Prep & Prime Spray

This spray was my saviour this month! I always sprayed it on my face before makeup, or even just on my face after skincare, if I wasn't wearing any makeup. It helped keep my oily patches at bay during the day and my makeup stay on for longer, if I was wearing any at all!

Pairing this with the All Nighter Setting Spray is a match made in heaven!

Urban Decay's B6 Spray is available in Debenhams and their Grafton Street store for €31.

What were your favourite products in January?
Do you have any recommendations for me?
Let me know in the comments below!

Ciara,
xoxo.
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Saturday, 27 January 2018

iElectron Review


Hey guys!

If you've been following me on social media, you'll know that since exams were over (just before Christmas) I sent my laptop away for repair because it was causing me serious issues!

I'm not even going to pretend I know anything about the tech world so I handed my laptop over to my dad, who is well versed in everything tech, to take care of the situation for me. 

After originally contacting Dell, the company that makes my laptop, they said my laptop needed a motherboard replacement and while I knew it was necessary, I also knew it would take ages and I wanted it back for when semester two started.

After some research, we decided to go with iElectron in Cork because I was going to be there over the festive period. After contacting them and explaining the issue, we were told they would be able to repair the laptop at component level and an entire motherboard replacement was not necessary. They even went as far as offering a free courier pickup from Dublin but as we were travelling down, we politely declined the offer.

I had issues switching on my laptop, it was taking forever to switch on and I would have to click the button quite a few times to get any reaction.

For me, iElectron seemed like the best solution. For a €20 deposit, they would run a diagnostic and then let me know what the issue was and how much the repair would cost.

On their website, iElectron says, 
'We repair any and all motherboard problems at a component level, providing a cost effective solution to an array of motherboard issues.'
while also claiming that they 'fix issues powering on a laptop'

I dropped the laptop off before Christmas and when I was told I could pickup the laptop, I brought my dad along with me because he knew all the jargon they would use when describing the issue.

When we went to collect the laptop, they said they couldn't repair it. They told us the issue was the issue we described when dropping it off and they acted like we didn't have a clue about what was wrong in the first place. However, when dropping the laptop off, my dad had described the issue to the employee who took note of what he said.

My dad then asked would we be getting the deposit back as the deposit is a deposit on the repair they carry out. When the employee said no, my dad and myself were both shocked. While I understand they were not in a position to fix the laptop, they should not have said the could when we had contacted them previously. Before we brought the laptop down, we contacted the company, described the issue in detail and were told that they could indeed fix my laptop at component level. On an ethics level and general customer satisfaction level, when the company had to go back on their word and not even offer an apology, they should've given us the deposit back or at least have said sorry for misleading us in the first place.

iElectron is a company I most certainly would not recommend to anyone looking for a motherboard repair and from looking at more recent reviews of theirs, based on iPhone repairs, I would not be going there for something like that either!                          

Thankfully, a company called TechHelp, who we've used previously for a MacBook repair, based in Lucan, were able to fix my laptop and it's like a brand new machine (They carried out a GPU reflow)! I got it back on Tuesday, which was basically the start of the semester and my power on button is fixed! I haven't encountered any problems with it yet (and hopefully I won't) and I also have a three month warranty on it.

I have provided links below, one to iElectron's page on motherboard repairs where they claim to have the ability to fix the issue I encountered, which they most definitely cannot do, and to TechHelp, who were very helpful!

Have you ever encountered an experience like this?
How did you handle it?
Let me know in the comments below!

Ciara,
xoxo.
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http://techhelp.ie/


Since posting this review, iElectron have gotten in contact with me and apologised for the way the situation was handled.




Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Back to College Guide



Hey guys!

So this post is a little late because I only got my laptop back yesterday! I don't mind though because it is fixed (Thank you TechHelp!), much faster and I have so much more space on it for pictures and college work now!

I went back to college on Monday and as I'm entering my second semester of year two, I decided I would share some of my hints and tips on how to survive the semester with you guys!

Exam Results

I'm lucky enough to have my year semesterised so I have exams before Christmas and in May. My results came out today and I know how daunting it is to wait for your results. 

The thoughts that are running through your mind before the results go online are the worst part of it all, in my opinion. The best advice I can give anyone waiting on exam results is to get some form of rescue remedy if anxiety is an issue for you (I get the gummy stars because I am a total child at heart) and to seek out your tutors or lecturers if you have an issue with a result or would like some feedback.

While failing an exam will have financial repercussions, it is not the end of the world! You will be able to continue in your degree and there are numerous supports available in colleges if you need help!

Check out your SU's websites for the supports available to you, should you need them.


Reading Lists

We all know the drill, you promise yourself you'll stay on top of your readings and by week two you're already behind. While the volume of readings you need to do for each module can be daunting, setting aside a half hour, once or twice a week, for each module, is completely doable and you will stay on top of everything and actually know what your lecturer is talking about!

If you don't want to buy the books because they are really expensive, go to the library and get the book out, it's a lot easier (albeit time consuming) to photocopy the relevant chapters you need for each module or search for a free pdf version online!

Stay Alert

Although your day may not be as long as it was in secondary school, it can still be tiring! Be sure to eat and drink between lectures so you can actually pay attention in each one!

Grab a coffee, water or a snack from an SU or campus shop between lectures and you won't regret it!

Go to your Lectures!

Okay so this may sound incredibly obvious but you'd be surprised how fast a room full of people drop like flies after the first week or two. 

It is so important to attend your lectures, tutorials and labs! You're there to learn, you've paid to learn and if you want to do well in a module, you'll actually have to go to lectures!

Get Involved

A lot of colleges run a 'Refreshers Week' towards the start of the second semester and it is the perfect time to join a club or society that you regret not joining in September. 

Have a look at their social media and see what the society or club does, how you can get involved and if you already know anyone in the society/club. It is a great way to make new friends and fully immerse yourself in college life!

Go on Class Trips
I went on a society trip last year and had such a good time! This year I'm hoping to go on one of my class trips during our spring break. It's such a unique opportunity to go away with a bunch of people you don't know very well (I always make sure to go with at least one friend as well) and discover a new city!

Society or class trips are usually inexpensive and they try to be accessible for everyone within the group, most run on a first-come, first-served basis but it's definitely a college experience you don't want to miss out on!

Make Use of What's on Offer

If you're lucky enough to have access to a gym, pool, other sporting facilities or even a cinema (yes, UCD has one...) be sure to actually use them! Most colleges that have an on-campus gym also include some form of a membership in your fees.

If you have access to facilities like these, make sure to use them!

Have Fun!

Whether it's cocktails with your crew or a pizza night with your pals, don't forget to have fun as well! College isn't supposed to be pure work, there's room for fun too!

Go on a few nights out, head to the local bar or just stay in and catch up with everyone!

Avail of Student Discounts

While flashing your student card in some stores will get you that handy discount, having a student leap card will get you even more discounts (10% off in Boots, how bad!).

Download apps like Unidays and sign up for student discounts, if you're unsure if a shop has a student discount, just ask!

It's literally saving you money, just for being a student!


Good luck to everyone going back to college, or already back in college for the semester ahead!

Ciara,
xoxo.
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