Primers: Why I Give Into The Hype

IMG_0922It’s probably the newest craze to the make up scene and it’s the step that many of us just can’t be arsed with. Does anyone else miss the days of applying foundation, blusher, mascara and lipstick and being fully made up?… Just me that’s lazy then, okay moving on. The primer revolution seems to have divided opinion, you’re either in the ‘can’t live without it camp’ or the ‘it’s just a glorified moisturiser and I’m not wasting my money camp’ so here’s why I’ve signed up to the former camp and sporting the T-shirt.

I learned from my many skiving hours watching Sali Hughes on Youtube that your skin eats whatever is on it and this scared the crap out of me! The new found knowledge that my skin has an appetite made me want to make sure that I was feeding it all the right things to ensure it was as healthy as can be (if only I treated my body with the same respect). So after sorting my skincare out I realised that I could never have too many good layers under my make up to further protect my skin so a nice primer seemed like the best option!

Now I know what you are thinking and yes, primers don’t have the best ingredients that decent skincare does (unless you go for a primer from a skincare brand) so I tend to reach for a primer with silicone such as the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer as this sits on the surface of the skin and will not sink in, thus preventing my face from eating it or anything on top.

A good primer will also allow you to slightly alter the finish of your makeup. If I’m having a slightly dull day, I’ll use an illuminating base such as the Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow or the L’oreal Lumi Magique Base. If I’m having a particularly oily day and God knows they happen more often than I’d like, then I’ll go for the Benefit Porefessional or the Smashbox primer.

Current Lifestyle Favourites

Untitled designI’m pretty sure there’s no intro needed for this, you know the drill, anything that’s not beauty that I’m currently loving. So lets’ just jump right into it…

Clothes. Recently, I’ve become pretty reliant on these Black Super Skinny Ripped Jeans from New look. They’re my go to whenever I really don’t feel like getting ready and going out and I have those days a lot! I just pair them with a plain tee, a huge scarf and my leather jacket and I look somewhat presentable with no effort and feel super comfy.

Food/Drink. No matter how much I try to fight it, Winter is still here and the days seem 2 hours long and the nights are frickin’ cold! Even though the festivities have passed for another year, I still need a Hot Chocolate with all the trimmings every now and then to get me through and make me feel all warm and cosy inside.

Entertainment. I have recently discovered The Office U.S and by recently, I mean about eight days ago and I’m already nearly finished season 3… Don’t judge, I’m not the only one who does this. If you’re looking for something that doesn’t require much concentration and will give you a giggle, give this one a go.

Thing. I’ve always been a fan of Yankee Candles and have 2 large jars to finish burning, but I took a break from them to try out new brands. For my birthday, I received loads of little mini candles and I fell in love with Yankee all over again. I totally forgot how fabulous their scent range is and I’ll be burning these for a long time yet.

Dem Brows Though

IMG_0917Surely, I’m not the only one that has seen this EVERYWHERE! Yup, there’s just no escaping the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade. When I visited New York back in April, no joke, I searched every Sephora I came across to try and find this sucker, only to find that it was sold out everywhere. And those of you who have been to NY will know that there are a lot of Sephoras!

After having my dreams crushed time and time again, I decided to order it online at Cult Beauty to see what all the hype was about – it seemed like everyone who had killer eyebrows had this to thank, and I wanted killer eyebrows! So two days later and £15.00 poorer, this little tub of goodness arrived on my doorstep and the rest was history.

Now I’m no make up artist, I’m just an every day woman that likes to experiment with make up in her spare time so it was no surprise that my eyebrows don’t look exactly like those killer ones but with the pomade, they’re as close to killer as they’re ever going to be!

My relationship with this product hasn’t been bliss from the beginning as I learned that if you’re too heavy handed, it will literally look like you have drawn two blocks above your eyes and it wasn’t pretty. Now that I’ve learned to use lighter motions and fill in the blank spaces as though I were drawing individual hairs, my brows have never looked better!

If you have straighter eyebrows and are looking to create a more defined arch, this one is for you. I’ve never been able to alter the frame without it looking completely ridiculous but now I can rock an arch like I was born with it! #browgame.

Embracing Colour

IMG_0906We did it guys! We’ve almost made it to the end of January, woohoo! So now that the gloomy, rubbish days are almost behind us (unless you live in Britain, then it’s just something we cope with all year round) we can officially bring back the colour into our lives! And I’m not talking, full on neons or anything, I’m talking about subtle hints of colour here and there that make us feel a little bit livelier and get ourselves ready to welcome Spring with open arms!

Nails. Possible the simplest way to brighten things up a bit and it only takes 5 minutes and you’re good for the whole week so what are you waiting for?

Eyeliner. For a subtle, sleek, eye catching look, rim either your top or bottom lashes with a colour that make your eyes pop.

Lipstick. You know I love a bold lip, doesn’t everyone? Amp it up with a dark pink or reddy orange.

Eyeshadow. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can go all out with a colourful Katy Perry eye as if Winter was never really here. Or if you’re not quite into that, you can use your eyeshadow as a liner with an angles brush.

Lip stain. If you’re not quite there and not quite ready to let go of the dark neutrals just yet, you can always add a hint of stint with a colourful lip balm or stain, ever so subtle but equally as beautiful!

*Warning – Pairing all these looks together may give off a clown-like appearance*

The Working Face

IMG_0921The working face – we all have one. The face we put on when we want to appear put together after hitting the snooze button for 30 minutes straight. My working face has changed over the years and I have no doubt that it will change again. I’ve been through the ‘glam working face’ phase, the ‘polished/professional working face’ phase and now I’m in the ‘I’m already late working face’ phase. Now my only goals are to make sure the redness on my complexion is covered up, my eyebrows are in control and my lashes are kinda fluttery (every woman’s secret weapon). So here’s what my current working face looks like…

After my morning skincare routine and priming my face, I go in with the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer, a light coverage formula to take away the majority of my redness and even out my skin tone. I’ll then go over my whole face with the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder to give a glowing look to the skin.

To add back some warmth and definition, I’ll sweep my Nars Laguna bronzer over my cheeks and forehead with a big fluffy brush and blend before taming my brows with the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade (stay tuned for a full review on Wednesday).

Last but certainly not least, I complete my make up by curling my lashes and adding a few coats of the Maybelline Colossal Cat Eye Mascara usually while trying to put my shoes on and throw everything in my bag.

This is a minimal look that covers flaws while letting your natural skin shine through that goes on in 10 minutes. If I’m having a rough skin day, I’ll use a heavier foundation and concealer to hide any blemishes or imperfections.

Beating The Monday Blues

IMG_0940So chances are, you’re reading this on a Sunday and would rather chew your left arm off than be thinking about Monday right? Well, I’m here to tell you that Mondays don’t have to be that awful if you adopt a positive mind set and take some action to make yourself feel a little bit better about starting the week.

In order to be fully prepared to take on a new week, I always have to get focused on the Sunday night. I know it’s a pain but it really does make the world of difference. Starting your night time routine early not only makes it possible to get to bed earlier which is always my number one priority, but it gives you more time to treat yourself with face masks, painting your nails and adding a little extra into your skin care routine. I know I’m not the only one that feels like I can tackle the world with a fresh lick of paint and some silky soft skin!

So get that bath running, take the extra time to blow dry your hair, chill out with a good book or your favourite TV programme and have some you time. Make sure you do get to sleep early though because my next tip involves getting up 30 minutes earlier on Monday morning. Not only will this make you feel more alert by the time you get to work, school etc. It gives you extra time to put a little more effort into your look, prepare a really yummy lunch that you can look forward to and maybe have an extra cup of coffee, because let’s face it – no matter how much you pamper or how early you get up, Monday’s suck!… This just helps them suck a little less.

Have a great week everyone!

Weekly Wind Up #3

w3You may have noticed that last week’s Weekly Wind Up was also number three. That’s because I was a silly cow and forgot that it was actually week two. Or you may have not noticed because you have better things to do with your life and for that, I applaud you! So we’ll do week three again, well not again because it’s another week but you get the jist. We’ll go with it for now so we don’t end up with 53 weeks in the year, that would just be awkward for everyone involved.

I’ve been toying with different ideas for today’s post because it’s been such an eventful, emotional week! I literally had so much going on that I forgot to put the hand break on in my car, put my washing in the bin instead of the laundry basket and and forgot my words in the middle of a conversation… Twice! There’s been so much going on both in my personal, work and family life that it wouldn’t make sense to fit it all into one post so I’ll just tell you what’s going on right now because that’s kinda the purpose of this series – to share what’s going on and hopefully relate to some people (and to vent, of course).

Keeping a very long and somewhat uneasy story short, I’m a worrier. I’m the biggest worrier in the entire universe! I worry about my retainers magically springing off my teeth and them moving apart over night, I worry about my car blowing away in the wind, I worry about contracting nits from everyone and I worry about my space heater turning itself on when I’m out and causing a fire but I also worry about really serious things too (not that fire’s are not serious They kill. Be careful). On Monday, a person that means the world to me said something out of pure sadness that made me think I had lost them forever. Probably due to my circumstances, I have a very real fear of people deciding they don’t want to have me in their life anymore and on Monday, I worried that this was again reality. After four days of feeling worthless, depressed and forgetting how to function as a human being, I decided to confront the fear and talk it out (with some serious encouragement from my mum!) and you know what – it turns out I was worrying for nothing (again) because as I mentioned before, it was said out of sadness and that person was devastated that I had any of the thoughts that I did.

So the moral of my story this week is that sometimes, it’s not worth the worry. A Buddhist friend told me that we can only deal with what is right in front of us and we cannot worry about what has yet to happen because it hasn’t yet happened – a motto I am going to try to adopt. Even if my worst fear had come true, worrying about it didn’t help me one bit and only made me feel nauseous and tired. So whether you’re worrying about your relationships, work or even something silly like your teeth changing shape over night, try putting the baggage down and give your arms a rest, even if it’s just for a little while, you can always pick it back up again if taking a little break isn’t working out for you ;)

Need A Pick Me Up?

IMG_0900It’s 3 o’clock, you’re sick and tired of looking at spreadsheets and the vending machine is calling your name – oh wait, that’s me! I never get through a day in the office without a mid afternoon lull and I’m trying not to use sugar as a mood lifter so much, well except for the 8 o’clock blues there’s just no other cure for that!

If this sounds like you during the day then I’ve got just the thing for you – face mists! We’ve all heard of the water mists, you know the ones in the aerosol can that are designed to freshen and pep you up but no one tells you that as soon as your skin drinks up the water, your face goes back to it’s dehydrated state. So what’s the solution? A facial spray with a refreshing fragrance and nourishing properties which is just what the Body Shop Face Mists are.

My two favourites of the moment are the Vitamin C and Vitamin E mists. I always carry the Vitamin C mist in my bag so that I am armed and ready for action the minute I feel sluggish and it really does the trick, three spritzes and I’m ready to get back to work! The Vitamin E spray can also be used for the same purpose but I actually use this after cleansing and before serum as an additional layer of moisture to cushion my skin. The rosewater scent is extremely calming and feels lovely and cooling on my sensitive complexion.

At £10, these guys are affordable and efficient. In other words, they give me a kick up the arse without breaking the bank!

Breaking All The Hair Rules…

IMG_0896… Well okay just one. Recently, my hair has just not been behaving no matter what I try. Do you ever wash your hair and spend half an hour blow drying it to find that it’s still dirty and there was really no point in you washing it in the first place? Well then you’ll know infuriating and not to mention time consuming it is. With the realisation that no one has time to be washing their hair three times before it’s remotely presentable, I am pleased to announce that I have found an answer to my unruly hair problems in Bumble and Bumble where every day is a Sunday – except I’ve been using it on Monday’s but we can keep that between ourselves!

Introducing the BB Sunday Shampoo, the blue gel sent from heaven. As my hair is so thick and quite long, I only tend to wash my hair once a week, twice at a push (can we have a moment of respect for dry shampoo please?) so this product is perfect for me as it’s not recommended for daily use – it’s seriously strong stuff.

It promises to ‘clarify, absolve impurities, product residue and excess oil’ all of which it does with one lather – yup, there’s no need to repeat! And no need to worry about it being totally stripping either, I didn’t find that at all, although, I am quite generous with the conditioner (I like shiny hair).

So if you’re using a lot of styling products and need to get rid of build up or you just want to give your hair a right good ole scrub then this shampoo is for you.

The Non Beauty Essentials

IMG_0887You know, the things that we all need to look good but don’t actually admit to…

Baby Oil. Hands down a better moisturiser than moisturiser! Just slap it on while you’re still wet , pat the skin dry and it will literally be as soft as a baby’s bottom!

Baby Wipes. Yup, it’s all about the baby products. I know I’m not the only one with the ‘hand palette’ that needs to be removed after each product application.

Tangle Teaser. A must with my ridiculously thick, knotty hair. I still require a spray in conditioner but nothing glides through my hair like this wee guy and small enough to live in my bag!

Vitamins and Supplements. Want healthy, glowing skin? Better get stocking up on those vitamins then! For the best results I recommend fish oil capsules but I ran out and haven’t picked them up in quite a while – I’m kind of a hot mess these days, well minus the hot (currently typing with eight finger nails painted).

Sticky Notes. For that cut crease, dramatic finish to any eye look. Just line the edge of the notes with the corner of your eye to your eyebrow and you can blend away without the fear of fallout. I currently can’t find mine which is why they’re not in the photo and I haven’t worn a  smokey eye in about 10 days! Like I said, not so hot mess!