How To Read More in 2019

And no, reading a Buzzfeed post doesn't count.

Reading is one of these things where you always hear "I wish I had time to read more." Truth is, like everything else, if you want to read, you need to shake yourself up and make it happen. I have always enjoyed reading, but in the last few years and up until a couple months ago, it just wasn't on my priority list anymore. But recently I've been craving some reading time again. Picking up a new book or an old favourite, getting lost in the words, reading a passage over and over again because it touches you, makes you laugh or cry... Books are a wonderful thing, and one can never read enough of them. There are so many benefits to reading, and one that I have found with myself is that the more I read, the more my focus and concentration improve - something I had a big problem with last year, as I could not focus for a long period of time like I used to before. The answer to my problem was reading! And I want to carry on in 2019 and read as much as I can. Here are some tips I will use myself, and hopefully they can help you too. Try it out!

I have started to add "reading' in my to-do list, most days. I write a to-do list every day, and whenever I can, I put reading as one of my tasks for the day. It instantly reminds me that it's there and that I have to make time for it. Whether it's twenty minutes on a weekday evening, or an hour at the weekend, if it's on my list, I will always find the time to make it happen because it's right there, it has its slot on my busy schedule.
If it means taking away another task to replace it with reading, please do! Prioritising is important, and sometimes picking up a book is the best thing you can do, especially because it means that you are fitting a cosy, relaxing time in your schedule just for your enjoyment.

A lot of us take public transport, even if not on a regular basis. I walk to work, but whenever I take the underground to central London, you can be sure that I will take a book with me. Even for a short twenty-minute journey, reading in public transport is the way to go. Leave your phone in your bag for a while, and get lost in the pages of a book. You will find that time flies even quicker than when you mindlessly scroll through Facebook or Instagram during your journey. If you take public transport every day to work, let's say thirty minutes one way, that's already one hour a day you can focus on reading. Soon enough, you'll be finishing plenty of books - and make your commute mindful time for yourself.

If you read beauty blogs, you'll be familiar with 10 Pan Projects. You pick ten items in your beauty stash that you've had for a while, and work on using them up. Now, how many of us have dozens of books on our bookshelves that we've had for ages, but just never got round to reading? Well, it's time for a little book 10 Pan! Go through your shelves and pick a few books (doesn't have to be ten, of course) that you own but have not read yet, and make it your mission to finally read them one by one! This is good in many ways, because of course you'll discover new books, but also it will allow you to decide which books to keep and which ones to give away, if you end up not enjoying them that much. Because it's good to spring-clean your collection once in a while.
And once you have read all these books, why not treat yourself with a brand new one to keep your new reading habits going?

Although I want to read more books this year, I haven't set myself a certain number of books to reach. I know that doing that works for a lot of people, but I am sure that for me, it would mean a big pressure to go through books as fast as I can to read loads of them, maybe without really having the time to appreciate them and appreciate my reading sessions (which for me, is a big part of the whole reading experience.) If you fear that giving yourself a goal of how many books you should read this year will stress you out, then don't do it. Just read, read ahead, and you'll look back at your book count at the end of the year. My target is roughly of one book per month, but I am not strict at all with it - some books are longer than others, some months I have less time than others, so I use it more as a gauge than as a rule. In the end, you should read books because you love it, not because it is another expectation that you ought to set yourself due to a pressure from yourself of from seeing others read so many books. Like everything else you do in life, do it for yourself and with the simple goal of enjoying it!

What book have you read recently? Leave me your recommendations below!


The Ordinary Skincare: Two Products That Changed My Skin

I FINALLY tried them out. Better late than never, right?

For the last few months before January, my skincare routine had been almost inexistant. I only used a micellar water, a toner and face cream. (I can already hear the skincare aficionados screaming in terror...) I was thinking that using as few products as possible could only benefit my skin, but to my frustration, it wasn't looking its best. So I finally kicked myself and order two The Ordinary products from Asos: the Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution and the Vitamin C Suspension with Hyaluronic Acid (what a mouthful!)
I bought them specifically to use them together, with the hope that the toner would clear out my skin and the Vitamin Solution would make it look plump and healthy. And that, it did! My skin has never looked so good. Let's review these little gems a bit more thoroughly, shall we?

I got the Glycolic Acid to exfoliate my skin every evening. Previously, I have used the Pixi Glow Tonic to the same effect - both product are really good actually. I enjoy using the Glycolic Acid, although it is not as gentle on my skin as the Glow Tonic. You may feel tingles on your skin as you apply it, but as long as the tingly effect isn't uncomfortable or doesn't hurt, do not panic.
The Vitamin C Suspension also have the same tingly effect. It is my first time using HA (Hyaluronic Acid for the uninitiated like me) and there are plenty of positive effects. I don't use it for its anti-ageing properties, although this could be a possibility for you; I use it for its hydration and skin protection and repair effects.

I like to be safe with my skincare, and often just follow the guidance on the label (and adapt it if necessary.) With these two, no need to change my regime: I apply the Glycolic Acid every evening after cleansing. I leave it to dry, and then apply the Vitamin C Solution. You have to be very light-handed with the Solution, it is quite strong and you only need a tiny amount to cover your face - which means the product will last you months!
I follow up by apply my usual face cream. I only use the products in the evenings, and make sure to moisturise thoroughly my face after applying them. I have never used them in the morning, and I would not recommend using the Vitamin C Solution at that time: although it is very liquid and not greasy, it leaves a shiny film on your face which will most likely show through your makeup, even with powder. The toner though could easily be used in the mornings.

When I say that these two products changed my skin, I am not exaggerating. In about three to four days, I saw a massive improvement: my skin was a lot clearer, smoother, and especially more plump and homogeneous. I don't have a really bad skin to start with, but adding the hydration of the HA has definitely been a game-changer. Using the Glycolic Acid consistenly has also made a big difference. My skin looks less tired, I have fewer pimples (although I still have one or two spots once in a while). I look more refreshed when I am not wearing makeup, which was one of my big concerns about my skin previously - dull and tired skin. I have been using these The Ordinary products every single evening for more than a month now and I'm still as pleased - I hit the jackpot! Definitely try these out if you have a non-problematic skin that needs a little (but deep) boost.

Have you tried The Ordinary? What products from the brand would you recommend?