21 Lessons In My 21st Year

21 Lessons In My 21st Year (1)Being a January baby, in addition to a fresh start and a list of resolutions that I’m probably never going to follow through on, the new year brings a new age. My experience of twenty one wasn’t quite what I bargained for and has proved to be in stark contrast to my expectations. It faced me with the harsh reality that I’m not going to have life figured out for quite some time yet. And you know what, that’s actually okay! I’ve come to realise that I’m a little more savvy with a milestone year under my belt. Here is what being twenty one has taught me…

o1 – I don’t know everything

Don’t tell my mum I said that… Despite constantly trying to prove to the world that me and only me knows what’s best, more often than not it’s still okay to rely on your loved ones for help. Sometimes it’s even necessary.

02 – I won’t get there overnight

I always had it in my head that by 21, I’d be living it up in Manhattan with my dream job and the world at my feet, when in reality, I still live in my family home with a job that I only kind of like. It’s going to take a lot of time and even more hard work to land that dream job – whatever that even is! But I’ve got plenty of time to do it.

03 – I still need time

The worst thing about being in the ‘twenties’ bracket is that I don’t yet feel like a fully formed adult. Or a fully formed human for that matter! There’s still loads of stuff that I need to figure out like how to fold my clothes without them creasing before I can consider myself an adult.

04 – It takes work.

As you get older and don’t see your friends in the playground every day, it takes a lot of effort on both sides to maintain friendships. As our lives become increasingly busier, we have to actively make time for those we care about and in the end, that extra effort will be more than worth it.

05 – Honey life is just a classroom

I couldn’t reflect on life without a Taylor Swift quote, come on! Seriously though, people are going to talk about you whether you’re doing good or bad. If you get caught up in what other people think, you’ll never win.

06 – My mum is an actual person

I know, it’s crazy! t’s almost like she had a life before I was born!… Actually, that is the case and for the most part, she’s been through all the crappy stuff that i’m struggling with. That alone apart from the fact she knows me better than anyone leaves her more than qualified to give me advice.

07 – We all have feelings

Cut people some slack, we’re all on the same boat. We all struggle in some way or another and we we’re all somebody’s children. Be kind to people, it doesn’t cost anything.

08 – Why so serious?

Cut yourself some slack. If someone was standing next to you saying all the things you say to yourself in your head, would you put up with it? Of course not, you’d tell them to do one! Be kind to yourself, because there are plenty of other people who will be mean to you.

09 – I’m not always right

Despite my convincing arguing skills, sometimes I just have to wave the white flag and admit defeat. I don’t know everything there is to know about life and why would I want to? Life would just be boring!

10 – More importantly apologise when you’re wrong

And be sincere about it.

11 – Jealousy is rife 

It’s a horrible thing, yet a natural feeling. It’s not like we want to be jealous of other people, right? Nonetheless, we all go through it and whether you think yourself worthy or not, other people will be jealous of you, it may even lead them to do nasty things. Don’t let it get you down, as soon as you recognise jealousy for what it is, it becomes a lot easier to pity the person and let go of any anger.

12 – Hard work pays off

If you really want something, then you’re gonna have to work for it, no one is in the business of giving handouts for free I’m afraid… Unless you win the lottery, then you’re just a lucky bugger and you should enjoy every minute! If you really put your all into something, it will pay off, albeit not over night.

13 – Never sell yourself short

If you say something often enough, people will believe it. Always sell the best version of you.

14 – Be your own champion

Some people are just plain old bullies. It’s just a fact, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stand for it. I’m all for making avoiding confrontation when possible but my no manner does that mean that you have to be a doormat. Know yourself, know your limits and stand by them.

15 – I’m worth it

Even though I’m not in a L’oreal advert, I’m still worthy. I am worthy of people’s time and love and so are we all! This is one that I still really struggle with and although I don’t feel like it nearly enough, it’s true. Someone loves you, remember that!

16 – I’m a work in progress

My likes and dislikes are constantly changing and I’ve come to learn that I’m a fickle little thing. I’m a growing organism and I’m going to develop and go through phases and some will be better than others.

17 – Ignorance is not bliss

There’s lots of close-minded people out there but that doesn’t mean that you can be too. Knowledge is power and enables you to make informed decisions. Take every opportunity to learn something new.

18 – Just say yes

Experience things, put yourself out there and let people get to know the real you. Step away from your computer for once and go and have fun in the real world. It has a lot to offer!

19 – It’s also okay to say no

Be your own person and make your own decisions. If you want to skip that party because you would rather not mix with that group of people that bring you down or you would rather save your cash for something else, that’s your decision and your right, stick with it!

20 – I’ll never be perfect

In fact, the word just annoys me now. My definition of perfect will almost certainly differ from yours and yours from the next person. So why put all of your energy into something that doesn’t really exist? I’ve come to accept that I’ll never be a Victoria Secret model, nor will I have good, kind thoughts 100% of the time! I can only strive to be the best version of myself and that’s more than good enough.

21 – It’s okay!

Apparently life is going to continue to be full of ups and downs and I’m just going to have to roll with it. Like my mum always says ‘it will all be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.’

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer: The Drugstore Rival

IMG_0624Introducing the wonder pen that’s been giving my beloved Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer a run for it’s money in the race to the no.1 spot… L‘oreal Perfect Match Concealer.

It’s thick but not cakey, it’s illuminating but not glittery, it’s super creamy but not slippery and best of all it’s drugstore so it won’t break the bank!!

This concealer has the amazing quality that makes me love the Nars concealer which I raved on about HERE. While I still love it and it does still hold the title, I don’t have to endure the guilt that plagues me for using an expensive concealer for everyday. At under a tenner, you can slap on as much product  as you want and conceal till your little heart is content without feeling too bad.

The handy pen allows you to sweep away those under eye circles in one motion and is really beautiful when patted onto the skin. The only flaw, if you would even call it that, is that the brush could be a little wider, but that’s just down to personal preference (and me being a right fussy bugger)!

In my eyes, L’oreal can do no wrong when it comes to bases and they’ve outdone themselves again, so for this, I applaud you!

Powders That Finish First

IMG_0614 IMG_0616You’ve spent the last 20 minutes applying your make up for the party you’ve been not so patiently anticipating for weeks. You look in the mirror, chuffed with the face staring back at you – yeah, your skills are on point. You had planned the perfect make up look to go with your new dress and you’re ready to boogie, but not before applying a layer of powder of course to absorb any oil that secrets while you’re strutting your stuff on the dance floor! And then it happens… Your whole look is ruined in two seconds with a layer of heavy, cakey powder that clings to the dry patches and gathers in all the wrong places. Doesn’t really set the mood to begin the best night ever, does it?

Well, the last minute scramble to salvage your night out make up is all a thing of the past. It’s time to stick your powder foundation to the back of the drawer for those days when you’re grateful for the extra coverage and let your base do the talking. Once your look is complete, all you need is a light layer of finely milled powder to keep shine at bay.

Any sheer powder will do the job, although, I do have favourites for separate occasions.

For those nights when you know there’s going to be cameras galore, get your selfie game right with Make Up Forever HD Powder which will make your skin appear smooth like butter. Perfect for those with more mature or problem skin.

We all have days when our skin is so dull, it just looks straight up grey. I have more of these days than I’d like to admit, however, the problem is easily solved with an illuminating finishing powder to liven things up a bit. My favourite that I always go back to is the MAC Mineralise Skin Finish in Light.

If you’re feeling slightly spendy and are in need of a little luxury in your life then the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder is for you. It’s perfect for smoothing over creases, not to mention it will look ever so chic pulled out of your hand bag!

Lastly for a good ole’ budget all rounder, the Bourjois Healthy Mix Powder certainly isn’t top of the class, but it’s a trusty staple that I can always rely on to do the job properly. And if you lose it on a night out, it’s not going to break the bank to replace.

The Guilt Free Gloop

IMG_0610A bit of a different post from me but we’ll roll with it…

I know I’m not alone in the constant battle to satisfy my sweet tooth whilst still being able to fit into my skinny jeans and as sweets like to play little mind tricks and guilt trips, I’ve been searching for an alternative to aid in my 8pm sugar meltdown. I may have come to a solution in the form of an ice cream substitute, albeit, a temporary solution till I’m back to craving my Cadbury’s chocolate buttons an hour later – the struggle is real!

All you need for this is one chopped up frozen banana and the flavour of your choice – simple! Just whack your banana and flavouring into the blender and presto, you have a delicious guilt free desert. Feel free to add some almond milk if you find there’s just a little too much gloop!

Take your pick from endless flavours such as Nutella, peanut butter, strawberries, coconut, caramel, the list goes on and on!!!

I’d love to hear some of your guilt free treat ideas!!

Dashing Out The Door

IMG_0609It’s come to my attention that I have two serious problems that need sorting out. The first being that I’m always in the bad books with my bank account – it cries a little every time I purchase a new make up item that I ‘need’ and the second being that I’m constantly sleeping through my alarm. Dragging yourself out from under a warm, cosy duvet on a pitch black, freezing cold morning should really be considered a form of torture! Although, you know what they say… Every cloud, right?

As I continue to feed my unhealthy make up addiction, I’m always coming up with new products that can cut down my morning routine and still leave me in a somewhat presentable state to leave the house in – and by presentable, my aim is not to scare any children I see on the street! Secondly, as my loosing streak with the 6am battle continues, I’ve come to terms with the fact that sometimes, you’ve just gotta slap something on and hope for the best…

I’ve recently discovered the Dr Jart BB Cream (I know, where have I been?) and it’s become my best friend when I don’t have time to colour match or mess around with brushes. I can just rub a pea size drop of lotion onto my face and watch the dark colour disappear to blend with the colour of my skin in seconds. For slightly more coverage, I just pop on a thicker concealer where required and bam, base done!

To add some life back into my face, I dot a light pink blush on the apples of my cheeks and coat my lashes with some mascara, okay okay, a lot of mascara. Check out my favourite HERE. Then I just fill in the arch of my brows and I’m good to go. Or at least I won’t horrify poor strangers with my ‘I woke up like dis’ face, no one wants to see that… Trust me!

Must Have Makeup Brushes

IMG_0608They’re probably not essential, but who doesn’t love the feeling of a soft fluffy brush gliding across their face? Plus, when it comes to make up application, they fight the battle for you and blend everything together – we don’t be wanting them harsh lines… No, but seriously, we don’t!

It was a tough decision but cuts were made from over 50 brushes to trim it down for my round up of my must have makeup brushes that I’ve stumbled upon so far.

Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt This brush just brings it in every department. If my brush collection was a high school, this gem would be the queen bee, it literally has it all! The perfect size to give even my round face the illusion of cheek bones and works perfectly for dusting powder over the face. The only brush with a permanent residence in my make up bag and will remain that way until some dark horse that I haven’t yet encountered gives it a run for it’s money.

Real Techniques Brushes I’m not copping out when I say that I really do love all the brushes from this range, the Pixiwoo sisters can do no wrong! They’re extremely easy to clean, super soft and super affordable. You can pick them up from your local Boots or Superdrug. With that being said, my all time favourites are the buffing brush (my favourite foundation brush of all time), the multi task brush (does what it says on the tin) and the setting brush, which I actually use for concealer.

Mac 217 It seems as though everyone and their granny bangs on about this brush, however, not without good reason! It will be your best friend if you struggle with a smokey eye. The triple threat that will pack on colour, define your crease and blend out any harsh lines. A real must have for any eye look.

The Winning Formula

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mascara 2I’ve been a super fan of Maybelline’s mascaras since the beginning when Great Lash was queen and Sabrina The Teenage Witch was my current favourite TV show. No matter how many high end formulas I try, I always revert back to my trusty Maybelline stash which sadly extends further than the picture shows… A lot further!

They have a magic formula for all your lash needs. Length? Volume? Definition? Maybelline has it down!

Since my tweens, I’ve probably used every formula that’s launched, so I feel that my 10 years or so leaves me qualified to give you some advise. In the interest of time saving and getting back to whatever you’re putting off, I’ll give you a snippet of my favourite three…

Want a natural looking set of lashes with added definition? Mega Plush Volume is your guy. Perfect for a day time or date look that will leave your lashes fluttering all day and night long.

Looking for sky high lashes with just enough volume to hold a curl? Any of the Colossal formulas will have you covered.

And lastly, to polish of that glam, evening look, add a few coats of The Falsies Mascara and you’ll become tired of the question “are those real?” Trust me.

Nars Bahama

IMG_0603If you’re looking to jump on the Kylie Jenner lip bandwagon or you’re simply longing for a more sophisticated pout, then Nars lip pencil in Bahama is your perfect solution.

This Autumn, the make up powers that be have revived the 90′s lip and cranked it up a notch so that we’re left with possibly thousands of choices for that sought after browny pink pout to match the chokers and half up hair dos. Well, fear not… I reckon I’ve found my optimum 90′s colour.

With Bahama being a matte consistency, I never apply straight onto dry lips, I religiously prep my pout with some lip creme to ensure the colour doesn’t seep into the creases in the skin. With step one complete, I pack on a layer of colour straight from the pencil with no liner required (of course you can add in this step if you prefer). For added insurance, I apply a second coat and set about my day to eat and drink until my heart is content with every confidence that I’ll be putting some effort in when I get home to remove the stain.

An on trend colour that matches every make up look, transfer resistant and has a seriously decent amount of product for a lip stick. At £18.00, I reckon I’m getting bang for my buck given the high quality and performance. Just make sure you have a sharpener big enough to accommodate! 

I’d love to know what your favourite lip colours of the moment are!

 

The Winter Stock

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I love this time of year. The frost on the trees, ear muffs, hot chocolate and of course the John Lewis and Coca Cola Christmas adverts. If it wasn’t for being so bloomin’ cold all the time, I’d opt to have Winter all year round, especially since some of my favourite products come out of hibernation and take centre stage on the dressing table…

I’m probably not alone in preferring a fuller coverage foundation for the Winter months. In the colder weather, my skin tends to appear duller and lack-luster so a brightening base with a little more coverage is a must. I’ve always been a sheer matte girl when it comes to Nars but I’ve given into the sheer glow hype and I won’t be looking back! It’s perfect for the party season giving illumination and lift to the face – and it photographs beautifully, BONUS!

We all tend to rock a more dramatic, darker mani in winter and this year, I’m all about the reds. My current favourite formula is the Maybelline  Super Stay 7 days Gel Nail Colour (what a mouthful!) in Rouge Profond. A cheap polish that will last for the best part of a week, 7 days may be a slight stretch. If you’re looking for a higher end formula for Christmas, Chanel and YSL have the most stunning shades.

For a natural ‘I’ve just spent an hour outside in the cold but still look fresh’ look, I tend to leave the more brighter pinks in the stash to prepare for Spring Summer and go for a more rosey tone. My favourite for the past 2 years has been the Benefit Rockateur Blush which gives a beautiful wash of colour with a slight shimmer. Perfect to throw on in a hurry without the need for a highlighter.

I’m pretty sure most of us are on the same boat with the Winter skin battle. Our skin tends to need a little extra lovin’ this time of year. To keep flakes at bay, I use a richer day cream such as the Clinique Moisture Thirst, thin in texture but works wonders in injecting extra hydration.

Lastly, I like to break out the Winter scents for my room. This month my Yankee obsession has been shaken up with my Soft Blanket safely tucked away in a drawer and Salted Caramel burning away to get me in the festive spirit… And make me hungry!

 

October Favourites

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Ya’ll know the score with this one so I’ll keep it short and hopefully sweet…

Recently, I’ve been cutting back on buying every new launch in the drugstore and putting my hard earned pennies towards things that I’ve been wanting for a while but felt too guilty to dish the dosh and it’s been paying off.

My base of choice for the past few weeks has been the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua which provides an effortlessly even skin tone. I tend to steer clear of this on my really bad skin days as it’s not full coverage by any means but whenI’m lucky enough to have just a dew bits to cover, I’ll smooth a layer of this over the skin and go back in with a heavy duty concealer. If you fancy a matte, full coverage face, I would save your money on this one, however, for those of you that prefer a feather-weight, glowing face, I would certainly recommend investing.

I’ve spoken about Charlotte Tilbury before and how much I love her and her brand, but I have to say the stand out product for me in the whole range has to be her Full Fat Lashes Mascara. It seriously rocks! The perfectly shaped wand leaves no lash uncovered for maximum impact, it’s a must have for the up-coming party season!

Speaking of Ms Tilbury, her Powder and Sculpt Brush has been the only brush in my make up bag in recent weeks. If you’re looking to cut the clutter, this face brush will be your new best friend. The perfect shape for powder, contour and highlighter makes it a triple threat worth every penny. Oh, and it’s ridiculously soft too!

It’s changed days for me in the lip department as I now feel under dressed without a bold red lip on a night out… I know, where has Lauren gone? I purchased Mac Ruby Woo a few weeks ago and never looked back. Perfect for lighter skin tones and it even makes my teeth look whiter, serious plus! Matte lips are very chic right now and I’ve been taking full advantage of the trend in this show stopping colour.

I’ve made a few new skin care purchases this month, however the stand out product for me has to be the Olay Complete Care Night Cream. It’s thick, rich texture leaves my skin feeling super soft when I wake up in the morning… What better start to the day than that? Coming in at a tenner, it’s worth giving a go.

Lastly, you’ll see above that I’ve been powering through this bad boy like no one’s business! The Jo Malone cologne in Wood Sage and Sea Salt has been grabbing me compliments everywhere I go… I’m guessing it’s a keeper!