Sunday, 28 September 2014

Products Of The Day #10 : Weekend Lounging

Gotta love the weekends!

Minimal effort with just about everything tends to be a theme in our household, even when it comes to make-up. And lets not even talk about hair. Hell, I barely get dressed - but that's what Sundays are for, amiright? 

Sometimes, although not all that often, I like to make a bit of an effort - just so I feel ever so slightly put together, in case, y'know, we leave the house. So here is my minimal effort, minimal fuss routine for a simple base, neutral eyes with a hint of pink!

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation (Vanille Clair) is a lovely, lightweight favourite of mine, so it's a no brainer when I want something quick, natural & glowy. Then to hide the under eye bags, out comes the Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer  - used in this video, if you want to see it in all its wonderful glory. Followed by a quick brush through my eyebrows with a spoolie (ain't nobody got time for filling in at the weekend)

For eyes, I opted for my trusty ol' Naked palette, with shade Naked all over the lid and tiny bit of Buck in the outer corner. A quick curl of the lashes (these are Tweezerman ones & I love them) and lashings of a Mac mascara, that I'm trying to use up so I can buy a new one!

As for colour, I used the Benefit Sugarbomb Blush which I really love as it really perks up my face with minimal effort. Adding a hint of bronze, pink and a shimmer which acts as a nice highlight! I then finish off with a swipe of Revlon's Honey Just Bitten Balm Stain!

Simple! In fact, if you take away the foundation (which isn't really necessary) you've got yourself a 'five product face.' Woo!

Now, if I could just get off the sofa...
Hope you're having a lovely weekend!


Friday, 26 September 2014

Illustration : Five Reasons To Smile

This week has been fairly quiet.

I don't mind it, though. Sometimes the best days are when you get to have a long, peaceful coffee break; an extra five minutes in bed; or even just spotting the smallest things that can put a smile on your face. Here are some of the things I consider to be worth feeling happy about... 

Painting more : since my 'dear lost twenty-something' post (genuine thank you to all that read & commented, by the way), I've been making a conscious effort to do things that make me happy. Painting is always one of those things that I can turn to to relax & I've been practising away like a mad woman. I'm hoping to maybe open my own little Etsy shop in the next month or so, which, even the very idea makes me smile - so, fingers crossed & keep your eyes peeled for that! 

Colder weather : two words - crunchy leaves. Need I say more? All the colours are beautiful and have been inspiring everything from what I wear, to my make-up and even creative inspiration. It's a beautiful thing. I love you, Autumn!

Walkies : if you follow me on twitter, you'll probably have seen that I've been all over Borrow My Doggy lately and we've met up with Alan (pug) & George (boston terrier) who are the most adorable little dogs. They came to explore our house a few days ago & it's safe to say they enjoyed themselves, so the next step is arranging days when I can 'borrow' them for tickles & walkies! Yippee! (you can see their cute little faces over on my instagram!)

Determination : while I know this isn't the world's most wonderful illustration, I stuck with it through thick & thin (I don't know what possessed me to attempt a tartan scarf... it wasn't my smartest move) but instead of giving up when I normally would, I kept going, and it's definitely not the worst thing I've ever painted - so... that's some kind of success/something to smile about!

Happiness : I've been feeling a lot happier lately, just in general. Nothing much has changed apart from my outlook on certain things, but it feels like a weight has lifted somehow. I'm excited about new things, I'm learning acoustic guitar and spending any free time more productively - just little change that have resulted in a fairly big emotional change!

What has made you smile lately?
I'd love to know :)


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Subtle Autumn Berry Lipsticks

With autumn comes cooler days, crunchy leaves & warmer toned lipstick (imo).

I love a good rose, plum or blush shade - in fact most of my lipstick collection is heavily based around said colours! Although trends can tend to get very matte & heavy sometimes, I like to stick to what I know, so here are five of my absolute favourite autumnal shades that are all very sheer, warm & day-time appropriate. 

Korres Wild Rose Lip Butter : if you're new to deep colours on your lips or you're looking for something you can wear to work with minimal fuss - these little pots are wonderful. Wild Rose is my favourite shade (don't be put off by the colour in the pot!) they apply nice and sheerly, but can be built up gradually, too. [link to swatch on lips]

L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Sweet Berry : a purse friendly, moisturising & light choice is Sweet Berry. It's a lovely natural plum shade, that's just the right side of purple. It's quite similar to my natural lip colour, so it's nothing too drastic but ties together a natural make-up look wonderfully! Not the most long lasting, but great for a hint of colour. [featured here & a few other places, it's an oldie!]

Chanel Deauvillethis little beauty has popped up a few times on my blog now, for very good reason. I wore it to my graduation, to interviews & special occasions - it must be a Chanel thing, because it makes me feel very fancy - but anyway, the shade is gorgeous & unlike anything else I own. A natural plum-y, brown, that's very 'my lips but better'. The formula is very rich & moisturising too, which is great if you suffer from dry lips. [link to swatch on lips]

Mac Creme In Your Coffee : again, maybe one you're sick of hearing about, but a favourite nonetheless. A dusky rose, that often looks slightly red on me; it's the perfect 'I kinda made an effort' lipstick, but without the hassle of going full on Marilyn red. I love it all year round but even more so this time of year! [link to swatch on lips]

Lipstick Queen Jean Queenas the name suggests; Jean Queen is the perfect everyday shade. It's more pink than any of the others, but I still think it has a nice amount of warmth to count as an autumnal colour. Not too Barbie & certainly not in your face, this is one of my favourite 'grab & go'  pink lipsticks. [link to swatch on lips]

Which are your favourite day-to-day lipsticks?


Sunday, 21 September 2014

Dear, Lost 20 Something...

In a world where we're almost expected to have our shit together by the time we're 30, I can't help but feel a little concerned. 

Careers, children, settling down, buying a house, owning a car, generally being a successful & contributing member of society... Just a few social pressures that I feel are weighing heavy on my shoulders at the moment. I don't know about you - but I don't have any of the above. But you know what? That's okay...

Something I noticed lately is that both my online & offline friends seem to be in a similar situation. Your twenties are a scary time, it would seem. Maybe you're leaving University and trying to find the career at the end of the tunnel, or perhaps your life has completely been flipped on its head lately; what you always knew has gone and you've just found yourself lost. No direction, no idea where to turn or what to do next. 

Instead of letting these un-written rules, of what we supposedly should have achieved by now, weigh you down - I'm proposing we just take a breath, shake them off and work hard at what makes you happy. Chances are, you've already accomplished something anyway; you're just too busy looking at what should've been and not what's already right in front of you. 

Personally, I feel as though because I'm not doing something with my Spanish degree (what is, realistically, a great achievement in itself), that I'm somehow failing. That I haven't gotten onto a PGCE; again, failing. That I'm not working in an area that I love yet; failing. But what I am doing at the minute is taking my strengths (painting, writing, creating) and trying to make something from it in the meantime. It's not 'ideal', but then, what is? What is the ideal that I'm looking for? It may not even be out there, which makes me feel like it's more important than ever to concentrate & appreciate exactly what you do have now - however small it may seem. 

There will always be people who land on their feet - dream job, perfect house, jet setting here, there & everywhere; but it's important not to compare yourself. We live in a society where people pick & choose everything that they share with others - and chances are, if you scratch below the surface - things aren't as perfect as they seem. (Have you seen the woman who photoshoped herself into pictures to trick her family & friends into believing she went to Thailand, when really she was sat on her sofa? - possibly a tad extreme, but you get the point).

What I'm trying to say is - you're not alone. Touch wood, there is still a hell of a lot of time left to achieve everything and more, that you want in life. There's no rush, no imaginary clock or list of things we should have done by the time we're a certain age. Lets not lose our heads to something that doesn't even exist

Work hard, stay humble and keep yourself happy & you never know what may come your way. 

Are you feeling the same?
I'd love to hear your thoughts


Thursday, 18 September 2014

How To Get Out Of A Creative Rut

I'm sure it has happened to the best of us (if not, then consider yourself one of the lucky ones!)
Good ol' creative block. It likes to present itself at the most awkward of times, at the most important of times or just simply for no real reason at all. Whether you're a blogger, an artist, just a content creator in general; here are just some of the things that I find help get the creativity/inspiration flowing again.

Fresh air : Move! Chances are, you've been sat staring at your screen or a blank piece of paper for quite some time. Take a step back, breathe deeply, put your shoes on and get outside. You don't necessarily need to run a 5k, but a brisk stroll will clear your mind and you may even find inspiration en route. 

Read blogs : there are blogs out there on just about every subject. Whether you're a blogger or not, have a look at your all time favourites, some new ones; make a mental note of what you like (or maybe dislike) about certain aspects. What you enjoy reading, looking at; and try take some inspiration from that (read : inspiration, not copy - never copy)

Visual/verbal mood board : websites like Pinterest & Tumblr are wonderful for coming up with new ideas. Make a board specifically on styles, ideas, just things you that please you visually. You may find a theme developing. If you're a writer, open a new post and just type whatever falls out of your brain - if it's a load of shit, it doesn't matter! Pull your ideas together and you may just find a gem hidden amongst it. 

Physical mood board : this is my personal favourite. If I'm artistically stuck, I find there's nothing better than getting my hands on something and experimenting for the sake of experimenting. My Smashbook is an example of sticking and creating something from nothing, as is my Wreck This Journal. Of course you can just grab a blank notebook and express yourself however you like - but if you have blank page fear (it's a thing), the above may help you get started. 

Make a mess : I sometimes find sparks of genius in madness - so make a mess. Let whatever emotional, physical, overwhelming stress that is holding you back, out onto a piece of paper or digitally online. No one has to see it; just go nuts. Throw some paint at a canvas, type nonsense until your fingers hurt - let it all out.

Be prepared : when your creativity comes bounding back to you (as it will, rest assured) take full advantage! I have a handful of titles & drafts in Blogger of posts I may want to create at some point - some are rubbish and will never see the light of day but others may eventually show their faces. Jot down your ideas as the come to you in whatever form is easiest (Blogger, iPhone notes, Post-Its), then, you'll always have at least one back-up while you're out searching for more ideas.

What are your tips for getting out of a creative rut?

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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Anti Liner : Three Step Smokey Eye

I haven't worn liquid eyeliner for quite some time now.

The faffing, the precision & effort it requires has just put me off it completely - which, coming from someone who has pretty much worn a cat-eye flick for years (possibly since my teens) on a regular basis - is quite the statement.

If you watched my recent video, you'll see how I apply something similar - but this is a combination I've been loving lately!

1. Apply a bronze, crease-proof base all over the lid and blend out at the edges. My favourite (as you can probably tell) is Maybelline On & On Bronze. Sometimes I add MAC Patina over the top for a heavier bronze effect, but for the everyday version - this will do.

2. Next, take a little bit of a warm brown shadow, I used MAC Brown Down, but anything similar will be just as nice! Apply it to the outer edge of the eye and in the socket line, then run whatever's left on the brush under your bottom lashes.

3. Finally, apply a waterproof brown eyeliner to your tightline and just above the lashes - I opted for Stila's Damsel eyeliner. I tend to go about halfway along the lash-line. It doesn't matter if it's not particularly a straight line as we're going to smudge it all in! Using a flat shader brush; blend, blend, blend - again, using whatever's left to the outer edge of the lower lashes.

Add lashings of mascara and you're good to go! (does that count as a fourth step? oops) - but either way, it's the easiest, fool proof look and I've been wearing it almost daily!

What do you use to create a simple, smokey-eye?


Sunday, 14 September 2014

Five Sunday Reads

Ah, Sunday. I do love you.

Boiled eggs for breakfast. A fresh bunch of flowers. A roast dinner, lounging in my pyjamas, reading blogs and getting ready for the week ahead. Is there anything more perfect? I personally don't think so. 

Here are five of my current favourite reads, in case you want something lovely to feast your eyes on today...

Thunderl0ve : Natalie is one of the sweetest bloggers I've ever not met. Her blog is so simple & chic and her photography is lovely.  Her consistent quality throughout her posts keeps me coming back for more - it's a great addiction to have.

She & Life : I really love blogs where, even from the first page, you get a real sense of the writers life & personality and I feel like that's what happens when I read Ella's posts. Her photography has a lovely, rustic feel to it and I really enjoy all her little, life snippets.

The Private Life Of A Girl : Sophie's blog makes me wish I was neat & tidy, basically. I feel like she does the best version of the minimalist posts, that I can never achieve. But seriously, her blog is crammed full of great advice, recommendations and has an effortless writing style that makes for the perfect read. I always get the feeling that it's a little bit different to the rest, too and I really enjoy that.

Joy Felicity Jane : This blog. This blog makes me make strange noises. Or a replica of that weird, crying emoji face - the one that you use in 'fml' tweets. It's just so perfect. The photography is absolutely flawless. I could look at it all damn day and never get bored.

Miel Cafe : Giada is such a sweetheart. Her blog is a reflection of that. If you can't tell by now, I love wonderful photography and you can tell she puts so much effort into every post. I love her style & personality that comes through in her writing - and she's Italian too! Which, makes everything 10x more interesting, if you ask me.

I hope these ladies never stop blogging, really, is what I'm trying to say. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! (I have no doubt that you will)

Have a lovely Sunday!


Saturday, 13 September 2014

A Few Of My Favourite Things #6

Slightly off timing, but I couldn't resist sharing a few things I've been loving lately!

I haven't bought many new products at all lately. I've been trying not to give into the hype of things so quickly, only to be ultimately left disappointed. So these are all fairly 'recycled' but well loved items, that I know are worthy of a post. 

Essie In Stitches : I've been really enjoying this shade lately. A dusky, blush rose that's so different to anything else I own. It's the perfect transitional summer - autumn nail polish shade (if such a thing exists). So much so, I've applied it three times in a row! It's definitely contributing in helping my nails grow, because it just looks so pretty - I don't want to ruin it, which is always a good thing.

Etsy Silver Hamsa Necklace : I have a fair few bits of jewellery, but none compare to this. I bought this a few years ago now and I still love it as much. It's so simple and chic. I love what the hamsa symbol stands for and I love how it's placed horizontally instead of dangling downwards. It's such a chic little thing & I wear it pretty much daily!  

REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial* : I love a good face mask, but I rarely have the time/can be bothered scheduling out fifteen minutes of the day to sit with one on, so when I kindly received this from REN I was over the moon. And its actually quickly become one of my favourite face masks. It has an unusual gritty texture at first, but then you gently massage it with damp fingers to activate the vitamin c, leave for one minute (weird sensation in itself) - et voila! It leaves my skin looking & feeling much clearer and balanced, clean of any grime but not stripped in any way. It's love!

Bourjois Cream To Powder Blush, Sweet Cherry : I've found myself reaching for this little pot of goodness more often, too. As we're coming into the colder months, my make-up has taken a swerve to the plum/berry side and this is such a lovely, warm blush that compliments plenty of different 'looks.' 

Mac Impressive Lipstick : an oldie, but a goodie! I've owned this lovely little lipstick for quite some time now, but I've been wearing it almost daily these past few weeks. It is my ideal 'nude' shade as it's very similar to my natural lip colour, yet adds just a hint of deep rosiness to them with a lovely glossy effect. These are my favourite Mac lipstick formulas and they're perfect for the colder months! It may be the very first lipstick I actually finish completely. See it in action in my latest Youtube video (and Essie - In Stitches, too)

Snow Mantled Love : Oh. my. god... I love a bit of ambient, beautifully made music and the 126 Remix album is just so perfect and easy to relax/work to. I don't work to music often. It'll all start well with something melodic but quickly turn into a Beyonce dance fest & zero productivity (not that that's a completely terrible thing, but, y'know). Anyway, it's free to download and lovely for your ears. Have a listen!

What have you been loving this month?

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