Category Archives: advice

THE DEPENDENCY ON MAKE-UP AND HOW TO WEAN YOURSELF OFF IT!

I love wearing make-up. There’s something ritualistic on sitting down at my desk, laying everything out, and getting to work. I start with foundation, covering my face and making it smooth and even. I draw on my eyebrows, making them thicker, fuller, even. I put on my blusher and bronzer, layering highlighter on top. I coat my lashes with thick mascara in several coats. I sweep on eyeshadow, draw on eyeliner. I finish off with lipstick or lip gloss, and then I’m done.

Sometimes, it’s a bit rushed. I’m late to work and I have to hurry my routine, frantically caking it all on quickly, not realising that in the morning light whilst commuting to work I look a bit like coco the clown. But when I’m going on a night out, I take my time. Paired with a glass of wine and some female empowerment music (traditionally, Destiny’s Child), I’m having a party all by myself before the actual party begins.

I tell myself, like other girls do, that I wear make-up because I enjoy it, not because I need it. But that would be a lie.

I lived with a girl at university that used to wear a face full of make-up even when she was going to the shops, and I thought how silly it was. Girls at work would wear false eyelashes, fake tan and fake nails. To work! I only ever used a full face of make-up if I was going for a big night out, but after a while, it began to change. I got insecure, and started to feel better when I looked better. It’s the same as wearing nice clothes when you go out, instead of shabby old tracksuits (which yes, I sometimes adorned on very hungover university mornings.)
I took pride in my appearance. I love looking nice, love wearing nice jewellery, nice clothes, and fabulous make-up. But I began to become more and more dependent on always looking nice, on always wearing make-up. And it’s starting to wear a bit thin.

I first realised make-up was becoming an issue in my life when I removed my make-up and I didn’t want to look in the mirror. My natural face didn’t look like me; it felt foreign, hideous.

Let’s be honest for a second: some people do look better with make-up. It covers our imperfections, makes us look healthier, brighter.  I have very fair hair, so my eyebrows and eyelashes are basically invisible. I work a  lot and get little sleep, so I have bags under my eyes, my pale skin needs a bit of blusher to make me look less like death, and my skin has imperfections, as most people. 

I’m a confident girl- when wearing make-up. but without it, I started to feel like a shell. Even when going round to the shops to get some milk I found myself putting on just a bit of make-up, in case I bumped into someone I saw.
The other day I was extremely hungover, and late to work. I had no choice but to wear the bare minimum of make-up, and I felt uncomfortable. I didn’t talk to people as much,  I just wanted to get through the day with my head down. A few people commented on my appearance, wondering if I was tired or ill.

I’ve found myself growing more and more panicked about how terrible I look without make-up, particularly in situations where people have to see it. I’m going on holiday with my friends soon, and they’ll see me without it. When I start dating someone I look nice, but will they still like me without make-up? Would they have entered a relationship with me if I’d gone to the date bare-faced? I think about guys coming up to me on nights out, or people that only see my snapchat and Instagram pictures, and I wonder if they would still approach me if I didn’t have make-up on.

I still love wearing make-up. It’s fun, I can experiment with different colours and styles. I love mixing eyeshadow colours, picking out different lipstick dependent on my mood. I love how shimmery my face is after I put highlighter on. But now I’m beginning to feel guilty, hating the fact that it takes layering on make-up to make me feel better about myself.

The strange thing is, if I never started to wear make-up to begin with, I would still be confident. As a child or young teen, I never worried about make-up. But with the abundance of make-up tutorials on YouTube and facebook nowadays, make-up has become a necessary, essential part of our shopping lists, rather than a luxury. I had a friend who would put aside her small wages on food, make-up and then bills, in that order. She prioritised buying foundation over her rent sometimes. Now I don’t think I’m that far gone, but I never thought I would become the person to hate my face without make-up. I’m so used to wearing make-up that it feels strange without it. It would’ve been so much easier if I never put it on to begin with.

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Like all addicts, I have a plan to stop my addiction. (yes, i realise I’m beginning to sound like an alcoholic). Instead of quitting cold turkey, I’m going to slowly wean myself off make-up. I thought I would share my technique on here to help other gals out there reduce the amount of make-up they wear in small, easy steps.

Firstly, prioritise your make-up. What is essential, what items can be dropped one by one.

  1. Starting off I’ll drop the lipstick and gloss. I’ll only use Vaseline to keep my lips smooth.
  2. Eyeshadow is certainly not essential, and so unless it’s a night out, I won’t wear it.
  3. After that, highlighter and bronzer can go.
  4. Blusher is the next off the list.
  5. The next step will be removing foundation from my routine. I can make this step simpler by still using concealer for problem areas (bags under eyes and imperfections)
  6. I will improve my skincare routine and wear moisturiser instead of foundation so my skin still looks healthy.. After I feel more comfortable, I’ll stop using concealer.
  7. After that, I’ll stop using mascara. Luckily I don’t wear false eyelashes, but if you do, the first step is get used to your eyes without eyelashes, and then go from there. You can do it in even smaller segments, like only using one coat, or only on the top lashes. You could also use clear mascara to enhance your natural lashes, but I don’t think I’ll bother with that..
  8. The final, dreaded step, not drawing on my eyebrows. As aforementioned, I’ll probably do this in stages by drawing them in lighter each time. Alternatively, you could semi-permanently tint your eyelashes and eyebrows so it still looks like you have make-up on, but you’re bare faced. I think for the first time I’ll do this, and eventually go back to natural.

Et voila! In gradual steps, you’ve gone back to your natural face! hopefully, friends and colleagues won’t notice the gradual change and so you won’t get bombarded with the tired/ ill comments that people seem to love giving out.

I’ll still wear make-up when I want to, if I feel like it. Like I said, on a night out it’s a very enjoyable part of my night. But when it comes to casual hanging out with my friends, going on holiday, going to work, I’m going to learn to be comfortable in my own skin and not feel pressured to wear make-up.

We are the ones that wear make-up, not the other way round. Let’s keep it that way.

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Revenge is… Happiness?

The best form of revenge is to be happy. Truly. The burning rage people feel when they are hurt by someone, only hurts themselves. We torment ourselves, replaying the same thing over and over again, the hurtful words or actions that someone has caused us.
So I began to think, how can I turn this anger, this hurt, into something productive? People say that every cloud has a silver lining, and this is true.  So when you are upset, hurt or angry, instead of festering over it, hurting yourself, turn it into something that will make you happy.

I was in the library, studying for finals when I had an argument with my ex boyfriend. When the phone call ended, I couldn’t even concentrate on my work because I was so fixated on everything he said. I lost out on some valuable hours of education because of this boy, and so I began to use this to my advantage. Whenever I thought about him, and I couldn’t concentrate on my work, I began to clean my room. For some reason, whenever I have a clean room, I have a clean mind. And then I would organise my notes, printing helpful articles for my work, making schedules that would help me with my studies. And eventually, whenever I had a negative thought, I would automatically start working. one bad thought would make me do hours of work to help my education, instead of lying in bed chain-watching some Netflix programme. And so easily, instead of being angry over my ex boyfriend and focusing on every stupid argument, I used it to further my education, not wasting my time thinking over it.

Next, if I had an argument with someone, and I was focusing on what I didn’t say,  what I should’ve said, or if I didn’t do something, I would start exercising. And the pattern continued- instead of getting upset over petty arguments, I began to work out, doing press ups and sit ups, going for a jog. Not only would this clear my mind, and help me think straight, but soon I began to get healthier, and stronger. Just like that, I managed to turn all of my bad feelings, all the negativity, into something positive for me and my body.

Its not a tried and tested form of counselling, I know. And maybe it won’t work for everyone. But for me, it feels amazing that I can make something good out of every negative feeling, everything bad that happens. And the next time something bad happens, I won’t get too upset, or angry, because I know I can use it for my benefit, to be happier.

 

Everyone is not as happy as they look.

Setting off to university in my parents car crammed with all of my stuff, I was excited to begin a new chapter of my life. I was finally going to be living with a group of people my own age, and I imagined it as some kind of 90’s chick flick, where we’d sit on the sofa eating popcorn and watching corny films, or cry over a tub of ice cream about boys, wearing face masks and having sing-alongs. And it wasn’t like that, it wasn’t like living with my best friends. While my first year was filled with a lot of fun, I didn’t get on with some of the girls in my flat. They all did the same subject, I didn’t. I had my boyfriend over a lot of the time, and I was working and concentrating on making friends on my course. And so, what begin as enthusiastic friendship turned into me feeling isolated and alone. Now, I had a lot of friends both at home and at uni, so it didn’t phase me that much, and it dawned on me that there wasn’t anything wrong with me, the girls were just in a clique, didn’t have any friends themselves so stuck together like a boring pack of hyenas. I was naive, but eventually came to realise that life is not like a film. in fact, films glorify and romantisise everything about life, giving us false expectations of what life should be like.

And so, when Christmas came around, I was in the pub with some old friends, and I ended up telling one how I didn’t feel it was fair that everyone had great housemates and flatmates, while mine were shit. I told him how I’d go on facebook and instagram, and see all the cute photos – “house meal with the gang!” or “flat girls night out!” and get jealous. And then he told me that a) I was being dumb, and b) that everyone pretends to be happier than they actually are. He told me that people aren’t going to put on facebook when they’d argue or felt isolated with their flatmates, or when they felt ugly. They weren’t going to show instagram their breakdowns and tantrums, but instead, put happy photos on to make themselves feel better, even though it was a lie. Instagram pages, full of little photos just show the highlights of everyday life. They’d show pictures of the best parts of their life- and none of the bad. And this ‘best of’ feature means we obsess over other peoples couple pictures and feel crappy about our own relationships, see their ‘Squad goals’ pictures and doubt our own friendships. See their gorgeous selfies and feel baad about how we look when we don’t have makeup on or our hair done. It feeds into the competition of ‘whos-got-the-best-life’, a page where even though your life isn’t perfect- far from it- in a series of pictures, it appears to be.

And it’s true, we compare our lives with what we see on film, or on our friends social media, but we don’t know the whole story. As the phrase goes; you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. And it made me feel better. Our whole lives, we are told and trained to search for the ‘elusive butterfly of happiness’- a term I’d recently discovered. I’d have moments where I didn’t really know how to be happy, or even if I could be. It seemed that the few shining moments of happiness I had were merged in a sea of feeling shit, upset, angry or just numb. So I almost take comfort in knowing that sometimes, especially on social media, people are not as happy as they seem. Now, I never feel bad about my own life from seeing other people online. I recently spoke to an old friend, at a different uni, and looked like she was having the time of her life, going out all the time, new friends, new boyfriend. It was only when I spoke to her on the phone she told me she was quite heavily depressed and miserable. There is a song called ‘Wear Sunscreen’ by Baz Luhrman that gives advice on life, and to be honest it is one of the most accurate things I have ever heard, and never fails to make me feel better. One bit that always sticks out to me is when he says “Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind.The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself.”

We spend so much time comparing our lives to what we see from other peoples when it doesn’t matter, at all. At the end of the day, you are the protagonist of your life, and your life is controlled by you only- your decisions, mistakes, choices. It is your life that matters, not what you see of someone elses. You never know what that person truly feels or who they are from an instagram page, and it doesn’t matter anyway, because it has no relevance to your life. So, the main thing I try to keep in my mind now is to focus on how I, myself, can make my life happy, not to compare it to other peoples, and most importantly, understand that there are going to be rough times ahead, bad periods- maybe years even, when you’re not okay. But you’re not alone in this, something easily forgettable. Life is hard, for everyone, but you need to focus on yours, and making it as happy as it can be.

Anyway, late night ramblings over. Peace out. xoxo

DO WE CHOOSE LAZINESS?

The simple answer to my question is yes. We have hours and hours in a day to fill with what we choose. Obviously, we can deduct chores, work and other necessary activities in our life but for most people, we have hours of free time in which we can choose to do whatever we want.

I have a routine. I walk home from my lectures, put something to eat in the oven and eat dinner whilst watching Family Guy/ whatever TV show I’m obsessed with at the time. I’m very good at advice, and motivating people. However, when it comes to myself I just don’t have the energy. I procrastinate. I barely have the motivation to do the duties for university work for my degree. I leave my work to last minute, my essays are rushed and my preparation work is the result  of a 2:00 am crazed panic the night before the deadline.

The truth is, we could be so much better. So much more. I see those over-achieving people and I half hate them, half envy them. Bright eyed, they have their healthy snack and detox water in hand before having a 6:00am light exercise before finishing all their work, managing their kids and about 50 other activities without breaking a sweat. I’m not saying I want that.

I just want to make the most of my mind, and my body. Be it for myself, for my friends and family or in the hopes of creating a better future for the other humans on this earth, I am trying to break this laziness, this lethargic nature that is within me. break free from the chains of routine and negative habits.  Can you imagine the world if everyone was the best version of themselves? I feel although this is an incredibly unrealistic utopic idea , we’d have a better environment, more inventions, better health cares and education systems and a genuinely kinder community.

A few weeks ago I did a review of ‘Limitless’ on here, and was thinking about what I would do if I had access to a higher percentage of my brain. but the truth is, we could all be so much more than we are. There is NOTHING stopping me from using my hours to learn a new language, learn three instruments, start boxing / judo / yoga etc. I could use my hours to perfect my cooking skills or writing skills. I could do almost anything I wanted, provided I stopped procrastinating and actually did it. I could be a much better version of myself than I am now. Do you believe you could be a better you? Do you want to be? Well, only laziness is stopping you. And unfortunately, laziness is a choice, a HABIT.

For me, it’s time to break the habit. The first days are actually easy, when you’re passionate. It’s keeping it up and turning it into a routine that’s hard. A little tip- don’t make things too hard for yourself. If on your to-do or to improve list you’ve got countless things ranging from easy to medium to hard, then it’s SO MUCH easier to give up.

HOW?
– So start off with a couple of tasks. Practice every day, keeping up the routine and gradually making the activities harder/ more challenging, or getting more. You learnt a new dance move? Perfect it, learn another/ Done a lot of dancing? great, now you can try that thing you’ve always wanted to do.

– set a time limit- before a wedding, before you move, etc. Mine is going to be 6 weeks from now, when I leave my horrible flat and university and I can go home and see my parents. Because, during my time at this flat I’ve had a lot of emotional trauma. but I’ve decided that something good CAN come out of it. I am going to use this bad experience as a learning curve, and gain something beautiful and wonderful from it. As Silver Linings says, “I’m going to take all this negativity and use it as fuel

– And that’s point number 3. Have a motivation. Because you want to impress someone? you want to be better? You want to do something different, something exciting? Everyone has their own reasons for it, you just have to pick a damn good one that motivate you. Get off your sofa, get working, get drawing, get running. You have an incredible body, and a beautiful mind.

It’s time to use it.

Quote of the day- “The best revenge is to live well”

REVIEW: LUSH

With Instagram snaps of fizzing bath bombs and presents of smelly soaps, I decided to explore the fascination with the new body products sop, Lush.

Firstly, the shop is distinctive because of the potent smell wafting from it’s shop doors halfway down the shopping centre- though many are put off by the strong smell of the shop! The layout is cosy and a bit jam-packed, giving off a busy vibe.

One can compare the feeling of Lush as the same as a child in a candy store- there’s so much to look at and choose from! Rows and lines of fizzy bath bombs with ingenious names such as ‘Granny takes a dip’ and ‘Immaculate Eggception’ which bring the fun, light-hearted soap to cleaning your body. You can see the care in which every person that works at Lush puts in to creating and selling the product, and the customer care is fabulous from my experience.

Lush even work around the major holidays to incorporate creative ideas such as carrot bombs for Easter and can be the perfect sack present for both teens and adults at Christmas. I must admit, I received a massive basket filled with gorgeous lush products that have lasted me and made me feel and smell like an angel. These gifts included Space Girl, Tisty Tosty, Fizzbanger, with a glittery hard massage bar that made my skin feel  smells like coconut, look sparky and feel softer than a baby’s bottom! I add a dusting of vanilla powder for a soft, delicate look for a night out.

The wacky colours and glitter and flowers are very exciting for someone who loves a good bath, and I have to admit there is a childish pleasure in watching the chemical reactions of the bomb fizzing and adapting the water you relax in. For those who have enough excitement in their life, there are calmer products available. Lush have a surprisingly wide range of different products- from hair products to soaps and lotions. I have recently bought the ‘Mask of Magninity’. I have loved facemasks all my life, and this did not disappoint. The soothing mint smells absolutely gorgeous and the honey soothes the face after the anti-inflammatory ingredients works to revitalise and clean your skin.

So what sets Lush aside from other shops? firstly, they don’t test on animals. In fact, they staged a campaign against animal testing in 2012, on Regent street in London as they showed graphic scenes of a performance artist being tested and essentially tortured, with a petition to sign. They raised awareness and of course, all of their products haven’t been tested on animals, are vegetarian and handmade. Paired with the ‘Naked packaging’ and ethical buying, Lush has to be my favourite cosmetics shop and I recommend trying out  couple of their products.

Rating: 9/10. If only I had enough money to fill my bath shelves with all of the products from this fabulous shop.

   
 

TOP DATE IDEAS

Date Ideas

Whether you’re desperately trying to think of a first day to impress a crush, or if you just want an exciting change to spend time with your loved one, there are many different ideas out there! I’ve compiled a list of just a few things I think would be good as dates.

  1. The ‘Night in’. One of the most popular date ideas due to the lack of effort and planning. Invite the significant other over to eat pizza and watch films. However, go that extra mile by doing simple things such as cleaning your room. There’s nothing nicer than walking into my boyfriends bedroom to find freshly washed sheets, a hovered floor and a few candles or fairy-light just making it extra romantic.
  2. The meal and movie. I believe I have come up with the perfect solution to this very common first date. Eating a meal with someone you don’t know for a first date can be unbelievably awkward. You’re trying to enjoy your meal whilst talking or sitting in uncomfortable silence trying to think of what to say. However, if you just go to a movie, there’s not much time for talking and it doesn’t really seem like a date. However, if you combine the two, you can talk about the film during dinner if you can’t think of any other questions and use that as a basis for getting to know the other person.
  3. Drinks. Ah, alcohol. The best friend and worst enemy of dating. There is a thin line between a couple of drinks to relax you and lower your inhibitions, and being paralytic on the floor with the guy/girl embarrassed calling for help. I always find pubs an extremely social place to hang out, and sometimes it’s nice to have a bit of dutch courage. However, learn from my mistakes. I was so nervous about going back to my boyfriends house, that I ended up drinking so much that he had to carry me back to his whilst I was singing, yelling, dancing (all very badly). He then proceeded to check on me several times whilst I was bent over the toilet puking my guts up, eyes closed, blindly kicking thin air to try and get him out of the bathroom. Great.
  4. A party. Could be yours, theirs, or a friends. I’d be wary of this, because some people don’t count parties as proper dates. There’s a lot of people around and loud music and lots of drinking, but if you’re scared of being completely alone with them if it might be awkward, then this could be the date for you. You could go together or leave together for extra time with them, or just spend time with them there. It gives you a chance to meet their friends and vice versa. And, parties are the number one place where if you want to get a little ation, it’s going to happen. The hazy, smokey air filled with teenage hormones, a little bit of alcohol in your system and an empty room with just the buzz of speakers from downstairs causes a lot of smooching that may not happen if you’re sitting in a restaurant or public place. Make sure you/they are not too drunk and if it’s one of the first dates, make sure you don’t regret it if you sleep together, killing the relationship before it begins and probably getting a reputation.
  5. Shopping! ENTER WITH CAUTION. Shopping will most likely not be pleasant for guys. And, you don’t want to appear a stingy bastard but you don’t want to blow your entire savings in one day. I’d recommend a little market or somewhere like the lanes in Brighton- there’s a lot of cheap stuff. You could go in bookstores, discussing your favourites, and try secretly to buy her something she admired and produce it later. You could go to a nice coffee shop and people watch, or mess about trying on hats/scarves etc. Girls love being spoiled, and remember you don’t want to always give her cheap things, but thoughtful gifts are the best. Just make sure if you do this, she ain’t a golddigger.
  6. The ‘cooking’ date. So, maybe you don’t want to go to a restaurant? Maybe you want to stay in but still do something fun? Cooking is an extremely good way to get close to the other person. You have to work as a team to produce something delicious or hilarious. If it’s December, a gingerbread house would be lovely. The middle of summer, making cocktails and a simple dinner would suffice. Cooking gives you a chance to play around, to laugh when he’s put too much water in the mix or to smear a dusting of flour on her nose. If you’re getting to know each other it’s very relaxed and fun and if you’re a couple it’s the same, and you get extra bonding time. You could even make it a regular thing, swapping houses and recipes each time.
  7. London/Major city. Living half an hour away from London, a very fun date is to just go out and explore. You can go on a bar crawl, or go to the embankment, see all the different acts and costumes of the workers. You can go see Big ben, or the London Eyes or even go on it! London/ major cities are fun, bustling places that will create a really happy environment for the couple of you to be in. I went on a date there starting off with drinks, burritos from a little stall then sitting in the park reading to each other. It was a extremely nice day.
  8. Picnic. Something so simple yet elegant. And there’s several way to make an ordinary picnic special. Guys, listen up. Firstly, pick a day that’s not raining. Even if its cold, you can bundle up in coats, but if it’s raining, just no. It won’t be like a romantic film, it will be miserable and muddy. First, pick the place. Try and get a nice park that’s not filled with a bunch of chavs drinking lambrini and smoking weed, it really ruins the effect. Lay out a blanket so she doesn’t ruin her outfit that I’m sure she will have spent hours picking out. You get extra points if you know some of her favourite foods (easy to ask in normal conversations) because she will be so delighted you remembered. Get a selection of little sweet treats, cute sandwiches and sweets, and beverages for both of you. From little cartons of orange juice to a nice bottle of wine, picnics are perfect. You will get extra, extra, extra brownie points if you do it at sunset and have fairy lights(a recurring item that girls love) wrapped round a tree and soft, romantic music playing.
  1. The Romantic scenery. My boyfriend and I decided to go to Seaford, which is a lovely little place filled with cliffs overlooking the sea and beautiful beaches. We had quite a hike to get up there so it’s more of a couples date rather than a first date (you don’t want to see each other panting, sweating and red outside of the bedroom in natural light- it’s not pretty). As we’re both smokers, it was a little hard but let me tell you, it was worth it. Even in December, the sea was a really calming place to be with someone you love, and sitting on a cliff surrounded by nature is indescribably, really. It’s really an unforgettable date, so if it is a first date and you really want to impress her, I’d suggest something outside that looks stunning. Even a hill that has a beautiful sunset will do. Just make sure it’s not too remote for a first date or she may think you’re going to kill her.

Anyway, that’s nine ideas of different dates. Let me know your favourites, your experiences or even a few more ideas, I’m happy to hear them! Good luck dating! x

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