Weekly Wind Up #3

WEEKLY 3So this isn’t isn’t a round up of the week per say, it’s more of just a general chat… I hope that’s okay? (Check me out, busting a rhyme!) 

I’ll tell  you one thing that I have learned this week though. Things happen to all of us that are pretty crap and make us feel pretty crap! We all experience it at different times and varying intensities but sometimes we’re thrown a curveball and we feel kinda shit about it. You guys know that I’m all for self reflection and going through the motions to make yourself feel better, and I still am all about that but I also wanted to take a minute to say that it’s also more than okay to let yourself feel whatever you are feeling too! It may be sad and angry or you may be ecstatic and excited about something and while it’s important to get yourself back to a level where your feelings don’t interfere with your daily life, it’s also necessary to let yourself just be for a little while. So for the time being, that’s what I’m going to do. No pressure, I’m just going to go through the motions, wherever they take me.

With all of that being said and with it coming up to Christmas – which is usually a really hard time for me and my family – from now until the New Year, scheduling on Lauren Essence will be ever so slightly different. I’ve not quite worked it out yet but while there may not be daily posts, there will definitely be regular posts. That may mean that there will be consecutive posts for a few days and then nothing for 2 days, or there may be posts every 2 or 3 days through the rest of December. No matter the schedule, there will still be continual updates and you know that if I get excited about something in the beauty world (or just in general), I’ll for sure be telling you guys about it ;)!

I just want to thank you in advance for your patience and daily blogging will begin again in January.

Much love!

Lauren xo.

Pleasant Surprises

IMG_0762One thing you may or may not know about me is that I’m a very fickle gal. My mum is forever telling me off because I always ‘forget’ when people have wronged me but in all honesty, holding a grudge takes a lot of effort and I’m just too lazy! I’ve come to realise that I’m all for second chances in the beauty world too. So if I’m not loving a product at the beginning, I’ll put it to the back of my stash and save it for when I’m feeling adventurous enough to try it again or enough time has passed that I’ve forgotten I don’t like it (it happens). Lucky for these four guys, I’m in a forgiving mood these days and allowed them the chance to redeem themselves.

L’oreal True Match. What? Lauren, you talk about this all the time! I know, I constantly rave about this but that wasn’t always the case. When I bought it the first time around, I was sorely disappointed and couldn’t work out what all the hype was about. Turns out I was applying it with the wrong kind of brush and used with a dense brush or sponge it is the dream base!

Benefit They’re Real Liner. Being in love with the mascara of this range at the time, I was ecstatic about the launch of a new liner but I just couldn’t get on with it at all! The nib was a funny shape, the product dispensed sparsely and it did not live up to my expectations at all. Cue two weeks later when I had run out of my L’oreal Super Liner and had no choice but to suck it up and learn how to use it properly or face going to a party without liner (c’mon, it was a no brainer). Ever since then I reach for the Benefit liner first as once you get the technique right, you’ll wonder what on Earth you did before it.

Cream Bronzers. I’ll cut to the chase with this one… I just couldn’t blend them into the skin. That was until I realised it takes a little patience and once I accepted that, I got to work and let me tell you, it’s worth it. It might take you an extra couple of minutes than sweeping on a powder would but the beautiful finish won’t make you question it one bit.

Illuminating Primers.If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll be familiar with my whole oily skin v shimmer battle but since I’ve embraced the hydration, I’m loving an illuminating base to pep up my complexion. It’s funny to think that a product I would never go near, I can’t start my make up without. Oh how things change.

Get Rid Of Red Face

IMG_0761It really doesn’t take much, from an embarrassing moment, being out in the cold to exfoliating a little too hard – it’s all too easy for my face to find a reason to flush. So when it’s required (more like when I care to be bothered) I fight back with these four steps for even looking skin.

To colour correct my skin, I’ll use the Max Factor CC Stick in green. This just counteracts the redness for an even looking complexion. Perfect for those no make up days when you don’t really fancy looking like a beetroot.

If I’m really struggling with pigmentation, I’ll either wear some tinted moisturiser like the Nars Pure Radiance underneath my base or top my foundation with a powder with coverage such as MAC Studio Fix to give my complexion that little bit of extra back up without looking over done. If you really struggle, you could even use both!

Finally, if I have a particular area (I’m talking about round the nose here) that is giving you serious trouble, a heavy duty concealer blended into your make up will sort you right out and no one will ever know the difference, just make sure you blend till your arm hurts… And then blend again!

Party Ready In A Hurry

IMG_0759So if you don’t know that it’s party season by now then you’re living under a rock! With only eight days till Christmas, if you’re anything like me, you’ll still be running around looking for Christmas presents and sorting out the house and on occasions like this, sometimes, just sometimes, beauty has to take a back seat. Yep, let that sink in for a while. So if you find yourself in the position where you have to be party ready in a hurry, just follow these steps and you’ll be the belle of the ball in no time!

If I completely lose track of time and have to be out the house in 10 minutes, I’ll just buff my current foundation back into my skin to freshen my face up a bit. Don’t judge and act like you’ve never done it. For the appearance of freshly applied make up, I spray some MAC Studio Fix Plus onto my face and work the product in with a buffing brush for a 30 second flawless base.

Next, I’ll either choose statement eyes or lips because we certainly don’t have time for both and frankly, it’s just not required. If I’m going for lips, I’ll skip the lipstick and reach for a bold liner to ensure the same colour pay off and extra longevity. If I decide to go for eyes, I’ll usually just draw on a few lines of a glittery eye crayon and buff out with a blending brush and no one has to know it’s only taken me a minute!

Lastly, to look extra polished, I give myself a fresh manicure to look super sleek. Jokes! I just chuck on some pre-glued falsies and I’m ready to party with literally minimal effort!

Usually, I’m all for taking time to get glammed up for events and I really do enjoy it but sometimes, there really are more important things to be getting on with and people to spend your time with especially during the holidays. So, if you do find yourself in a bit of a time panic, just crack out these tricks and you really can have it all!

The All Rounder

IMG_0757Can we just forget about sparkle and glitter for just a moment? Only a little moment, some of us are still at work and can’t jump head first into the Christmas mood just yet! So with that in mind, I wanted to share with you the lipstick that I keep in my bag for all occasions and that will see me through any situation.

It’s no secret that I just love a pink lip, no matter the time of year, I’m always all over it! It makes me feel instantly refreshed and makes my complexion look more awake in a flash. Whether I’m heading to work, out for lunch with the girls or for a night out on the town with a smokey eye, MAC Lovelorn is the perfect accompaniment to help me feel more put together.

The blue pink tone looks beautiful with a pink blush and golden brown eye for when I need to pull out my ‘go to’ party look or gives a subtle tint to the lips when patted on for the rare times when I can be bothered even finishing my make up for work. It really is the ultimate all rounder lipstick that has seen me through many a mood and is the perfect pick me up for my face (sometimes your face needs a little pick me up, okay?).

The Winter Superhero

IMG_0755With Winter comes the cold weather and with cold weather comes a whole host of skin issues and let me tell ya, it’s not pretty! Each year from November onwards, I prepare for a visit from the cracked lips, dehydrated nails and dry patches of skin which are not welcomed with open arms. To combat all of my Winter foes (well, the superficial ones anyway) I’ve enlisted the help of the trusty Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream which basically just sorts your whole life out, well not really but you get the jist!

The fragrance and colour free gel like cream is the surge of moisture you need in the colder months and is the perfect size for you to chuck in your bag. As a great all rounder, you won’t need much else (besides makeup, fragrance, the medicine cupboard and all the other unnecessary things we ladies feel the need to trail round with us)! For supple lips, healthy cuticles and hydrated skin (especially those tough elbows and knees), pop this saviour front and centre on your dressing table and you won’t look back!

Party Bag Essentials

IMG_0754Yesterday, I attended a charity lunch where I got to get all dressed up, catch up with friends and just generally have a good time. The down side to this though is as you read this, there is a high possibility that I’m currently curled up in bed with the worst hangover known to man… I know the hangover’s coming and yet I still drink – I need my head checked. Anyway, while I sort myself out and make myself feel human again, why don’t you have a read at what I took with me to ensure I was party ready throughout the whole day/evening?

The first thing I always pack in my clutch is a powder. I’m seriously paranoid about my oily T-Zone and have to constantly touch up throughout the night. For this, I normally reach for my Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder as it’s sleek, compact packaging makes it a perfect clutch companion! The finely milled formula means you can re-apply as many times as you need without worrying about cakiness. Trust me, I reckon I re-apply ten times at a night out!

The lipstick that I’m wearing is a must have in the clutch bag. All that eating and drinking tends to make my lips look like I slept with yesterday’s make up on (not a good look). To look fresh and polished all night, just reapply your lippy and you’re good to go!

Due to the thickness of my hair, it tends to lose velocity from being weighed down so dry shampoo is my hair secret weapon. Just chuck a mini can of Batiste in your bag and your limp hair worries will be banished. And it’s so little, you won’t even notice it in your bag!

Now onto the less glamourous stuff… No one wants to be that sweaty Betty at the party that everyone talks about so make sure you don’t leave without deodorant. I recommend a roll on formula for quick, discreet application.

Finally, I can never go anywhere without my hand cream. I’m one of those people that washes their hands at every chance I get so they tend to dry out pretty quickly. To stop my hands feeling scaly through the night, I make sure I’m always armed with a rich formula that absorbs quickly to ensure I don’t turn into butter fingers!

Weekly Wind Up #2

WEEKLY 2

This week the powers that be, in their wisdom have decided to see just how far I can be pushed before I explode. There have been a few hostile (to say the least) situations in work, family issues and on Thursday it was my the first birthday my Papa spent in Heaven – so to say it’s been a tough week is a bit of an understatement.

With that being said, we all have pretty crappy weeks, months and even years but if it wasn’t for the lessons we learn as a result, we would just give up… Well I know I would. So this is what I’ve learned, or what has been reinforced this week.

1. I’m not a pushover.

When it comes to the workplace, and in fact, every social situation in life, there will always be different personalities which are bound to clash and that’s totally okay! What’s not okay is taking your own insecurities out on someone else. My mum used to always say that people say and do mean things out of jealousy and I never ever believed her until this year. I always found it unfathomable that someone would be envious of me but I’ve come to learn that everyone feels inadequate about something in their life no matter how great we think they have it, and that’s pretty sad. However, sad as that may be, it is not an excuse for you to be treated as a doormat and you’re completely within your rights to stand up for yourself (if you haven’t wronged anyone of course). Be firm but fair with people and while they may not be overly nice to you, they will respect you.

2. Relationships take work.

For the most part, we choose the company of those we want around us, however, there are some relationships that are sprung upon us and can be somewhat of a challenge but if we put a little effort in and go the extra mile to be nicer, there’s no reason why you can’t get on with anyone. For me, when I don’t click with someone, I usually don’t bother but when you love that person, that’s just not an option. Families are a tricky thing but when you put some work in, the end result is all worth while.

3. It’s okay to be sad.

I think we are all a little hard on ourselves when it comes to our emotions. I know I certainly bottle everything up till all my feelings boil over and I erupt like a volcano. Recently, I’ve been working on letting myself feel things when they happen and going through the process of dealing with it and let me tell you – it’s bloody hard! I know that time is the best healer but that’s really hard to remember when you’re caught up in grief. Knowing that it won’t always be as hard is what gets me through but sometimes we all have to just take a minute to be sad and be okay with it. It won’t make you any less of a person!

Brush Cleaning In A Flash

IMG_0751It’s the chore that we all hate but have to suck up and power through if we want to have clean brushes, because who doesn’t want clean brushes pffft – priorities! I’m willing to go on record and say that probably no one hates running their hands under water till they resemble prunes and scrubbing till the cows come home more than me so I’ve come up with a cheap, simple, no fuss way to clean my brushes and keep my hands in somewhat reasonable condition.

I only really clean my brushes as and when required, meaning if they’re dirty to the point where I can’t use any more product or I’ve previously used a dark colour and I want to switch it up and go lighter. I know I really need to get better at this whole thing but I really can’t be bothered and have better things to do so here’s how I get my brushes clean in a flash…

Quick Clean

If my brushes aren’t really that dirty or I just want to use a different coloured product, I’ll reach for my trust No7 Make Up Brush Cleanser and some cotton pads. Literally all you need is one pump of cleanser, one cotton pad and 10 seconds of your time. Just swirl the brush on the soaked cotton pad and leave out flat to dry for an hour. What could be easier?

Deep Clean

Ideally, I should do this once every 2 weeks but it’s more like once a month (or every two months!). When my brushes are in need of a thorough clean, I use the Soap & Glory Jambo Massage Glove which is a complete dupe for the Sigma Brush Cleaning Glove. Originally meant for reducing cellulite, the rubber ridges allow the product to break up effortlessly for a deep clean in jig time. Just use your favourite shampoo and some hot water and you’ll never have to slave over the sink again!

In The Nude

IMG_0748Cue the smokey eye and all the glitter (yes, ALL the glitter ) – its holiday season! And if you can’t rock the dramatic looks at party season, then when can you?

To make sure we don’t look like a complete disco ball, a nude lip is the perfect finishing touch to your Christmas makeup (or any party makeup for that matter) to ensure everything is balanced out. Whether you’re looking to go all out and blow all your Christmas money in one or you’re looking for a cheap option that won’t sell you out, I’ve got you covered!

Tom Ford Spanish Pink. Top of the range luxury which is worth every penny of the £37! I always feel a litter more confident and ready to strut my stuff in a Tom Ford Lipstick. A beautiful pink nude with a hint of sheen that will leave your lips feeling nourished and looking plump.

Nars Descanso. The perfect throw in your bag, no hassle product. Sweep this on for a neutral nude in a flash. I wouldn’t go as far to say that it’s glossy but the satin finish means you don’t even need a lip balm base. No fuss? Sold!

Mac Patisserie. The classic nude that every woman should have in her collection. A stunning brown nude that matches every complexion and compliments every makeup look. You really can’t go wrong with this one!

L’oreal Color Riche Julianne’s Nude. The budget version of TF Spanish pink. Not quite as luxurious but I would always throw this in my bag for a night out over the TF. Quick and easy to apply and blends like a dream – what more do you want at under a tenner?

Lasting Finish by Kate, 03. This formula provides more of a matte finish than the others, though not completely. With just enough moisture to allow easy application, a coating of lip balm is recommended first but again, at under a tenner, I really shouldn’t complain. The beautiful deep undertones means you won’t look washed out or ghost like (no one wants to be that person).