Make up Must Haves: Everyday

This is a list of my everyday face and make up products. This is what I use every single day, along with brushes. 🙂

  1. Blistex Lip Crème

    This is my all time favourite beauty product (maybe). It is meant to be an intensive moisturiser for your lips but I use it every morning before I put my make up on to keep my lips really soft and have never been able to find anything better.

    blistex

  2. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturiser

    Again, this is an all time favourite that I have been using for years and years. I first bought it in New York where it was really cheap but have continued to buy it in the UK. It is slightly on the pricier side, but last ages. I use one pump every morning and it last for around a year. I struggle with sensitive skin, and also hate sticky moisturisers. However, this moisturiser doesn’t leave a sticky residue and is kind to my skin.
    dramatically-different

  3. No7 Stay Matte Foundation

    I have been searching for the perfect foundation for many years, and I am still not sure that I have found it but this one if one of the better ones that I have used. I have tried expensive brands like MAC and Bobbi Brown, but to be honest, I don’t think that they are significantly better than more high street brands and considering that they are double the price, you may as well go for the cheaper one. I tend to go for a full coverage matte base, despite not having terrible skin.

    foundation

  4. Collection Concealer

    Again, I have tried expensive concealers but always come back to this one. I cant remember the exact price but I think It is something like £2.99 which is crazy because regardless of price, this is the best concealer I have ever used, especially for under the eyes.
    concealer

  5. Benefit Hoola Bronzer

    My bronzer game has changed forever since discovering this product. I had seen it on loads of blogs but never wanted to fork out the money for it and I am totally aware that it is a lot of money to spend on a bronzer but it is so worth it. It is absolutely perfect for contouring and the brush that comes with it is the perfect shape. Love this!
    bronzer

  6. Mac Soft ‘n’ Gentle

    This is a lovely product. I don’t think it is worth the price tag attached to it, but it lasts forever and gives a subtle glow. I am not a big fan of that massive glittery stripe look so this gives the perfect amount of highlight without being too overpowering.

    highlighter

  7. Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette

    I got this product for Christmas last year so I didn’t have to pay for it which is nice! It is a great everyday palette for someone that likes a bit of sparkle but with neutral colours. My favourites are the 2nd and 4th in from the left, which in future I will get as individual colours.
    eyeshadow

  8. Rimmel Eyeliner

    This is a really nice product and is dirt cheap. It is a felt tip liner which I way prefer to the liquid eyeliner or pencil liners. It is super black which is also really nice. I have tried the posh ones but they all run out at the same speed so I may as well spend less!
    eyeliner

  9. Clinique Mascara

    I have mixed reviews about this. I have used this for years and love the fact that it has a really thin brush which means that the lashes look really long. It is also fab for bottom lashes. However, it doesn’t give a huge amount of volume or colour so I normally go over the top with a cheap one that just makes them super black.
    mascara

  10. NYX Brow Gel

    This is a cheap version of the Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow but it is fab. I use a slanted brush and apply this to the whole brow and it stays on all day which is fab for me. Eyebrows are a big part of my make up as I have no natural ones (I do, but very thin!)
    dip-brow

  11. Sephora Brow Powder

    This is a product that I picked up in Athens in Greece which I absolutely love! It just fills in the brows but isn’t massively waterproof so has to accompany another product. When this runs out, I will see if I buy another one as I will have to get it from another country so if I can find a cheaper alternative I will probably try another one.

    eyebrow

  12. Beauty Blenders

    There was so much hype around beauty blenders before I tried them and I am not the worlds biggest fan of the big ones but I use the little ones to blend the concealer under my eyes and absolutely love them! Thumbs up 🙂

    beauty-blenders

    Much Love x

Slice of Life: Passing Time…

This slice of life comes from the musings of a 22 year old who is unsure where to go next.

I have a job until July (fixed contract) which is easy but doesn’t push me and I find myself passing time everyday, counting down until home time, then counting down until something exciting etc.

I don’t want to live my life like that and I certainly do not want to wish away my years.

What happens if I never know what I want to be when I grow up?

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Our Habits Make Us

This really means something.

livslevandes

“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” – John Dryden, 1631-1700

I came across this quote the other day, and felt that joyful connection I do when somebody else has put words to my vague thoughts. That’s exactly right – we make our habits, conciously or not, and then they become automated things we just do. And those actions shape our lives a lot more than we think.

We’re all born without habits. We’re born with reflexes, but most of what we think of as “natural” things to do are learned – habits from childhood that we don’t see as habits, it’s just background. Take for instance to nod for yes and shake your head for no. I grew up thinking that was the only way to do it – I can’t remember learning it, everybody else were doing it, it felt completely natural. But then as a…

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The 18:36 #poetry

The 18:36.

A carriage full of suits and I am sat, bright red, tattooed and hair braided, amidst a sea of black and grey, pinstripes and cufflinks.

I often look around at people, wondering about their days.

Wives? Husbands? Children?

Wondering if they enjoy their job or if they have a horrendous gambling problem, but spend their days running a huge corporation, painted smile, with everyone else blissfully unaware.

But just for this moment, this 18:36, their stories don’t matter.

And neither does mine.

We are just travellers, going from A to B, and for this moment we are linked.

We are making the same journey and maybe I will never see any of these faces again and if I did, I probably wouldn’t even remember.

But then the train stops…

Fast forward!

Everyone springs into motion and remembers the mountain of work waiting for them at home, the ex boyfriend that they are desperately trying to avoid, the electric that has probably just run out.

Sometimes, the 18;36 provides short relief.

A pause.

before life presses play.

Fashion? Trying too hard…

This is an interesting one for me, and is one inspired by a blog that I have just read about what to wear for your body shape. I have spent the last 10 years everyday deciding what to wear, worrying about what I look like and desperately trying to find an image.

I have a friend who wears ridiculous things, every pattern, fabric, colour you can imagine and flings it all into one outfit totally effortlessly. I have tried this – I looked ridiculous. This picture below is a classic example. I am the one on the far right. My second year of university. I thought this denim jumpsuit and bandana looked really cool. Well, I didn’t. But I thought that everyone else would think I was super edgy and alternative: the total wrong reason to wear something!

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I have also tried the minimalist look – tapered trousers and a white blouse, well my big boobs and very short legs made this also look silly.

I have desperately tried to copy fashions and styles in order to forge my own and it has never really worked. I would absolute love to have Gok Wan come in and give me a capsule wardrobe so that I did not stare blankly into my wardrobe everyday wondering what to wear. I would also love to start completely from scratch. However, I guess all of this makes me totally normal. Sometimes I look nicer than others, most days I was not to shove on leggings and a jumper and my old trainers because hey, it’s super comfy.

But I do want to forge a bit more a style for myself. And I am calling out for advice on this one…

Help a girl out who tries excessively hard…

Any advice would be much appreciated!

xoxo

 

Handle With Care: #thedailypost

This daily post topic really connected with me because today, this is exactly how I feel.

Generally, I am an incredibly positive person, always making sure that my glass is half-full and I pride myself on being the person to cheer other people up, or make light out of a seemingly dull situation, but even we positive people can have down days and today is one of those.

The only ‘bad’ thing that has happened is that I spilt my hibiscus tea from Starbucks and then proceeded to burn my mouth on the new one, which set off my grump, but I just feel a bit lousy today, and everybody that speaks to me, I am mentally shouting at and telling them to leave me alone, even if they are being perfectly pleasant.

I do not know if this is just a female thing, or a young person thing, but I wake up some days and I am just grumpy from start to finish, irritable and grouchy and nothing can alter or affect my mood. It is actually irritating.

So today my message to anybody that comes into contact with me is: handle with care!

 

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Having the Right to Care

I have been incredibly fortunate in my life.

I grew up part of a stable family who have loved and supported every decision (even the ridiculous ones!) i have ever made. I have never really struggled for money, and have always had shelter, warmth, food and people who loved me.

And I am fully aware that for millions of people around the globe, this would be their dream, and I am so very lucky to have been brought up in that environment, and although my life is not perfect and I am still unsure on so many things, I am far more comfortable than most, and am thankful for being where I am.

However, this comes with its own problem. And this isn’t me moaning about the life I have or being ungrateful, this is just me explaining.

Until my second year of university, I had never really met anyone much different to myself. I had surrounded myself with my friends from school, who all came from a similar background to me, and I hadn’t really been part of many clubs or groups outside of school especially in my teenage years. But, in my second year of university, I was put on a placement at THE COMPANY OF FRIENDS which is a drama group and social club for adults with a range of special needs and complex learning difficulties in Liverpool. Safe to say I was absolutely petrified. I had no idea what to do, how to act, speak, move, and I was so scared that I would say the wrong thing. This is what i will come on to…

I remember walking up the steps to the group on my first session and I have never felt more uncomfortable. I felt like a tiny tiny goldfish in the muddle of the Arctic Ocean, flapping around helplessly, probably whilst plastering a totally fake “I’ve got this” smile on my face.

Well, that placement was the best thing that ever happened to me and I will forever be grateful to the lecturers that places me there, and Company of Friends for being so wonderfully magical. And that is absolutely what they are. I have never in my life met a group of people who uplift me and make me see my glass half full than those group of guys. Their wicked senses of humour and ability to take the absolute piss out of themselves was totally infectious and make me feel at ease almost instantly. They allowed me to become part of their dysfunctional family, and 2 years later, I am still there. I don’t work there. I have done projects there and hopefully will do projects again, and there will be weeks and months that will go by without me going in, but when i do, they greet me with absolute open arms, call me Cher Lloyd (god knows why!) and its as if I have never been away. But they ignited a passion in me to work in this sector.

It is something that I am really good at. And not a lot of people are. And you know what? It is totally okay for me to say that without coming across arrogant or self centred, because I’m not good at a lot, but I am really good at that. However, one barrier that I have struggled with is an attitude, and that attitude is, “what right do you have” or “who do you think you are, you have no idea what it is like.”

Now the second part of that is absolutely true, I do have absolutely no idea what it is like growing up with Downs Syndrome, and I would never ever pretend to. I make no attempt at framing myself as having had to deal with any of these issues that these people have had to battle their entire lives, but I want to be a voice with them. Not for them, they do enough speaking for the rest of the world combined, but with them.

Too often we criticise people for speaking out on behalf, or with others, if they have not come from that background or group. And i ask why?!

Why can’t a heterosexual person be part of a campaign for gay rights?

Why can’t a white person fight for the equal rights of black people?

Why can’t an able-bodied person fight for the rights of disabled people?

We shouldn’t make anyone feel guilty or embarrassed for their upbringing or background, especially if they are choosing to spend their lives giving back to the community and helping other people.

I spent my university life having to apologise and justify the fact that I had been privately educated. I totally understand all of the arguments against private education and i also agree that I was incredibly privileged to receive it, but it doesn’t make me a bad person, nor does it take away my right to work with people, and create work with people, who did not receive this education because I “would never understand…” whereas in actual fact, that is exactly what I am trying to do.

So, yes. I was lucky, I am lucky, and I am so grateful for that, but I also have the right to care about people, regardless of their background, race, colour, or ability.

It is impossible to write a blog like this without sounding like a spoilt little rich kid who wants to do a bit of work for charity to make themselves feel better about their privileged life. I am none of these things, but I know that this is how it comes across.

But yeah, I do care, I will care and will continue to care. Company of Friends made me feel part of something bigger, more important, and worth more than any amount of money can buy, and I will forever be grateful that they opened my eyes to a world outside of my own.

 

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Stopping for Air: is it okay to criticise ourselves? 

It is natural to be self critical. It’s human nature I suppose- we critique and attempt (often unsuccessfully!) to improve ourselves and being self aware and in turn critical is all part of that.
But I have been thinking about this a lot recently.
When I was at primary school, every single school report or parents evening, or comment from a teacher went something along the lines of, “she is very chatty” or “she talks too much.” I became very used to being called a chatterbox and even described myself in this way for many years. At that age, I didn’t really pick up on the fact that the comments were being said in a negative way, but they were. And as I grew up, this became more apparent.
“Do you ever stop for air?”

“Do you breath out of your ears when you talk that fast?”

“No one else has a word in edgeways!”
These are just a few of the things that people say to me on a regular basis. Very regular in fact. And of all the insults I have ever received, for some reason these are the ones that go the deepest. The people that deliver them are often close friends or family and I know they don’t mean any harm and would never intentionally mean to upset me, but it really does. And it has made me so self conscious that I have left a poetry reading class that I was speaking at tonight beating myself up because I spoke a lot. I spent the whole walk to the train station thinking to myself, “oh god Emily I bet they were all thinking ‘I wish she would shut up!'”
This happens after every social event I go to now.
And yet I keep bloody talking! It is totally in my nature, always has been and is something I am literally incapable of controlling. In social situations I have to take part in conversation, laugh and joke and push myself forward, and now people expect me to. But when those inevitable comments occur about the amount I am talking I instantly feel a huge sense of shame and embarrassment and immediately want to cry and never speak again. This sounds totally over dramatic but it really does bother me. And it has led to me being incredibly self critical, I found myself apologising tonight for talking too much, as I often do.
I critique every part of myself, I’m not good enough at my job, I don’t have enough money, I am not successful enough, and I’m not bloody thin enough. This one is ridiculous. Every morning I wake up and mentally shout abuse at myself for the way I look, apologising to my boyfriend every time I see him for looking a mess, making excuses so that I don’t feel embarassed for looking the way I do.
And it’s so stupid. One of the poems in the class I read tonight talked about being in control of your own happiness and how this comes from within. This is so painfully true. I am a self proclaimed gobby cow, and no matter how much I try to change, I always will be. I’m heavier, skinter and more paranoid than I want to be, but hey, life’s too short to waste my time worrying about that. I will change the things I can, but I’m not going to apologise anymore for being who I am.

marmite

It’s Okay to Play: Meeting Marmite

Firstly, Marmite is my dog; a 12 week old chocolate brown Cockapoo; but more about her in a minute.

If you read my last blog, you would know that I have found post-university life quite difficult. Since finishing university, adult life has hit me quite hard and the stark realisation of it is overwhelming. Gone are the days of Netflix binging, staying up till 5am, and running around the room pretending to be walking through treacle whilst making bear noises. Or are they?

My second year was intense, and very hard work, and I was constantly looking forward to each task being over so that I had some down time, and then would be looking forward to the next thing being done, continuing to wish away my degree. My course was different to most people; the hours were long, and the work was intense, and there weren’t societies or loads of socials to attend, so my life was LIPA for three years. Whilst I was busy wishing away the hard work, I wasn’t concentrating on what I was doing which made me feel great everyday. And that was playing. At the core of my degree was the ability to play, and the skills and experiences to encourage others to join, and it is only now, after graduating that I truly appreciate the relevance and importance of this in adult life.

Too often we can get tied down (and I am a culprit of this) with bills, money, work, cleaning the house and making sure your trousers match your top. That isn’t to say that none of these matter, and you should forget to do them all, but in the whole grand scheme of things, they aren’t what I should let my world revolve around. The trousers and top statement has come from a comment that was made to me at the sweet shop I work in last week and for some reason, it bothered me. A member of staff said to me, “why are you wearing those jeans? They look stupid, they don’t match.” I was left feeling totally embarrassed and couldn’t wait to get home to remove my purple jean and blue top combo (which I was rocking by the way!) But then, as I got home, I started to think about why the comment had bothered me so much. As a society, we do not often criticize what other people look like, so the comment appeared rude and therefore made me feel uncomfortable as it is not something I am used to, but I had also been criticized for what I am wearing, which is a personal reflection of how I was feeling that morning when I opted for the purple jeans over the mundane blue ones, that to be honest, deserved a day off. And that comment inspired 50% of this blog, as I said to myself, “if I want to wear a Christmas jumper with matching socks in February, I will, if I want to wear pink shoes, with orange trousers, a pink top and a red hat, I will.” Who says what ‘goes’ and what doesn’t? And who cares?! There are defiantely bigger fish to fry than whether my outfit ‘matches’ and I thought it looked cool, and I will be wearing it to work again.

Too often we tell ourselves that we are grown up now, we have to dress, speak, and behave in a certain way in order to meet some ridiculous expectation we have set ourselves of adulthood. Well, I challenge that.

***

I have never had a dog before, they smell, and they are hard work, and my parents never wanted one, so we had cats, and fish, and the odd worm my sister decided to split in half (she thought they grew into 2 worms). But when we both left for university, my Mum couldn’t quite handle the classic empty nest syndrome, so bought a puppy. I never worried that I wouldn’t like her, anything small and fluffy that has a cute face, I’m sold, but I didn’t expect to feel quite as strongly as I do.

She must know that I am talking about her because she is currently sat chewing my sock.

We have only had her 2 weeks, and I have already been home as much as possible to spend as much time as I possibly can getting to know her, and oh my gosh she is the most fantastic thing. She poo’s a lot, and then eats it, which isn’t so nice, but she is the biggest bundle of energy and has brought nothing but absolute happiness into the house. But one thing that really struck a chord with me is what she has done to my mum and me.

On a normal Sunday night in, we would have tea, natter a bit, watch some telly whilst playing on our phones, natter some more and go to bed. Not anymore. We now sit on the floor, rolling around, throwing various toys to one another and chase a 12-week-old puppy around the garden urging her not to poo on the carpet.

We play, and its great.

I didn’t realise quite how much I missed it. I spent three years at LIPA rolling around the floor and pretending not to enjoy it, but I do and I think everyone loves to play in one way or another. My Dad is the least performing artsy type in the world, he is rarely silly, and I have never ever seen him dance. However, even he likes to play. He loves bikes, everything to do with them, and spends most of the hours of his day cleaning a bike that he cleaned the night before and hasn’t ridden, and messing with all of the little nuts and bolts that attach to the various bits of the framework. This is playing, and he loves it.

My point is, that playing is okay. It doesn’t make you childish, or immature. Run around the park pretending to be a flamingo if you want to, “be the bear” as a lecturer once told me, and wear clothes that don’t match, because life is too short to worry about stuff that doesn’t matter. Meeting Marmite reminded me how great it is to play, and on that note, I’m off to clean up the 2 wee’s she has done whilst I have been writing this, and then we are going to play tug of war with a toy dinosaur.