Tag Archives: inspiration

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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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 : LIMITLESS

Limitless is a film showing a struggling writer (the dynamic Bradley Cooper) who is the epitome of procrastination. His laziness and lethargic nature combined with a shabby, messy apartment and the looks of a crackhead in rehab remind me of University students on a Monday morning. I found Eddie’s character therefore extremely easy to connect to and empathise with- majority of us are, after all, inactive creatures with a tendency to shirk our duties. Eddie is on the verge of despair, his life spiralling out of control with his girlfriend dumping him and near to losing his job. The introduction of a new drug- NZT (the name itself sounds chemically snappy) from a vague old friend gives Eddie a chance to be someone else- the better version of himself. What I find particularly interesting is that the drug doesn’t change or alter much in your mind, rather organising it in a way so the information you receive your whole life, is accessible to you when you need it. An example is when in a fight, Eddie remembers clips from self defence and karate movies he had watched, using them to fight a couple of guys that had attacked him.

Things are now going great for Eddie. We see everything more vivid an colourful as the director enhances the audiences own vision so we experience this drug alongside the protagonist. Eddie gets a dashing haircut, a new suit, cleans his apartment, visibly getting his life together. He cleverly starts doubling his money and investing in stocks, using this drive to do something productive. The only problem is that for me, his original dreams of becoming a writer are not mentioned again- so does the drug change his personality? Or somewhere along the way did his aspirations change? Bradley Cooper interestingly enough plays another struggling author in a film called ‘The Words’ (On Netflix if anyone wan to check it out).

All good things must come to an end, however, as it was too good to be true- somehow I don’t think the directors intention was to suggest that drugs were brilliant and there were no negative effects whatsoever- and Eddie begins o gain enemies- one strange looking man who later turns out to be an absolutely terrifying, knife-wielding maniac. Another Eastern European drug dealer also has it out for Eddie and with the new events of the drug actually causing the addicted to get ill or dead, Eddie must manage to wean off the drugs and fight off the competition all at the same time. The film ends happily, obviously, with a few questions as to whether Eddie has managed to kick the drugs or the drugs hold over him, but overall I think the film is well worth a watch. It shows money, productivity and success as key motivators for all different types of humans and the highs and lows of how to get there. For drugs users, there are many scenes in which you can empathise and understand, all cleverly shown through the directors use of camerawork- manipulating the screen to make it move trippily, the vivid colours and the soundtrack that make an incredibly enjoyable film.

Which leaves me with the question- if you take the drug NTZ, you have the world at your fingertips. You could run for president. You could create a business. You could be an artist, write a book. What would you do?