| The Top Tips for Working From Home |

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For those of you who don’t know I’m an entrepreneur & have been for about a year & a half. I don’t talk much about what I do on my blog so I’ll give you a quick, little glimpse into my working life. Essentially I am a brand & marketing consultant which means that I work with small-medium sized companies to help create & build their brand across their website & their social media – I’m the chick behind their marketing strategies & campaigns. I absolutely love what I do & I’m so incredibly passionate about it! 

But being an entrepreneur or working from home isn’t as easy as some may think. You’re one person & you’re in charge of everything! This means that it’s you who has to plan & structure yourself, it’s you who has to set your own goals & it is your responsibility to keep yourself on track & motivated while being a team of people all in one & while doing a million things at once.

With this in mind, I asked over on my Twitter if you beautiful people would like to hear my tips for working at home & 100% of you said yes! So your wish is my command & here is my tips for working from home!

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Tip 1: Buy a diary & plan every single day
This tip is so incredibly important & I just can’t stress it enough. When I started off as an entrepreneur I made the mistake of not using a diary or making lists of what I had to do for the week. Since I’ve stuck to doing this I can’t tell you just how much easier my life has become. I bought a pretty diary (because a gal needs pretty things) & every Sunday I plan for the things that I know I need to do during the week & then every evening I also write down what needs done for the next day. Being able to do this stops you waking up every morning not knowing what to do that day so instead you can enjoy your morning coffee while knowing exactly what you’ll be doing once it’s finished. Also, ticking off your to-do list gives you such a satisfying feeling because you know that you’re being productive & getting things done.

Tip 2: Change up your environment 
Your home is where you eat, sleep, relax & it’s the place where your ‘stuff’ is, so sometimes it can be difficult to get into your rhythm & it’s easy to get distracted by cleaning or playing with your pets or your favourite series on TV. If you’re spending too many days of the week working from home, you can also start going a little stir-crazy & begin to feel uninspired. That’s why it is so important to get out of the house & work somewhere else every now & again, even if it’s just once a week. This can be a coffee shop, a library or a park – it is entirely your choice! I personally love going to coffee shops to work as there are other normally people working or having meetings there so it’s a more motivating environment (and you never know who you’ll bump into that can help to grow you business.) Just get out of the house!

Tip 3: Get dressed 
When you work from home it’s far too easy just to stay in your pyjamas all day but it really helps if you make the effort to get out of them. When you get up, get showered & dressed it makes you feel like you’re getting ready for your work day & can be surprisingly motivating. I normally always put on gym clothes because I go to the gym on most days (and not to mention they’re incredibly comfortable) but you can put on whatever you want. Even sweats! You’ll feel like less of a slob & surprisingly more motivated just by getting out of what you slept in the night before!

Tip 4: Social media is the devil
For most people being on your phone or social media during work hours is a no-no but when you are self-employed you don’t have a big ol’ scary boss looking over your shoulder to tell you off. It’s up to you & you alone to control your time on social media. When you get a Whatsapp message or a notification or you hit a brain-block, it’s very easy to pick up your phone & get absorbed into the world of social media. This wastes time, is counter-productive & quite frankly won’t pay the bills (unless like me you have to spend some time on social media for work.) Limiting your time on social media is so important during work hours so either set up time limits on your internet browser (yes you can do that), block them all together (yes you can do that too) or use good old fashioned willpower. And do not, I repeat, do not download Candy Crush!

Tip 5: Know when to stop
The problem with working from home is that it can be too easy to just keep working & working. We don’t leave the office at 5pm every evening so when you’re absorbed in your work time can pass so easily & before you know it, it’s 9pm & you haven’t moved for 12 hours (perhaps a slight exaggeration, but you get what I mean.) Setting yourself a deadline to get things done is very important & as long as it’s not urgent, it can wait until the next day if it gets too late. Work life balance is incredibly important for your health & well being so working all day & night isn’t going to help matters – it will leave you exhausted, unable to concentrate & can seriously affect the quality of work you produce. Give yourself a lunch break & switch off at a reasonable time to recharge your batteries – your loved ones need some time with you too!

Tip 6: Start your day off well
When you start your day off in a tizzy, stressed or worried it affects the rest of your day & how productive you are. I love to start the day by going to the gym, listening to a motivating podcast or even just having a quiet moment to myself with a cup of coffee. Whatever the best way to start your day is, try to do this as often as you can. It puts you in a good mood for the rest of the day & will make a massive difference to your productivity.

Tip 7: Keep reminding yourself how lucky you are
My last tip is simply this; we are the lucky ones who get to work from home. It can be easy to get bogged down with the list of things you have to do that is as long as your arm. Sometimes you’ll wish that you had a team of people around you even just to talk to. But we need to remember that there are many people out there who would love to have this opportunity but can’t for whatever reason. As entrepreneurs we design our own life – we design our own working patterns & we decide how our day looks from the moment we wake up. Let that empower you & get you pumped because working from home is SUCH a pleasure that we shouldn’t take for granted!

I really hope that these tips helped those of you who, like me, are business owners, entrepreneurs, freelancers or work for a company who allow them to work from home. If you have any other great tips, please feel free to share – after all, sharing is caring!

 

 

 

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Review | Celltone Moisturiser & Xtra Hydrating Treatment

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As a dry skin girl I have very high standards when it comes to a moisturiser & I’m not an easy woman to please. When I finished up the last of my moisturiser I fancied trying something new & went on the hunt for a new product I could fall in love with. So while shopping in Dis-chem I came across the brand Celltone.

Being from the UK I’d never heard of this brand before & the reason for that is because they are a South African company who only sell here. Celltone became well known because they use snail gel extract in their products which has been known to soften, smooth & anti-age the skin – all the things I want & need. 

Here’s what I thought of their Daily Moisturiser & Xtra Hydrating Treatment:

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What Celltone claim

‘Celltone Daily Moisturiser contains a medley of oils, Argan, Calendula & Olive. It contains UVA & UVB sunscreen filters. Enriched with Anti-Oxidants and Vitamins A, B3, C & E to soften & moisturise the skin. Snail Extract enriched. Paraben & perfume free.’

What attracted me to this product was the amount of natural oils that are in this moisturiser. I’m a firm believer in using as much of what mother nature gave us as possible so I always love to see products filled with natural products & without parabens. This product also has SPF 15 & protects against both UVA & UVB rays which is so important for keeping our faces fresh & young.
When I first opened the box I was so shocked at how generous Celltone are with the amount of product they give you – there’s a whopping 125ml of product in that bottle! After trying the product I realised why this is the case – it’s a very thin moisturiser & I tend to use a full pump with every application. Which brings me onto my next point, it has a pump! Woohoo! I don’t know what it is about beauty bloggers & pumps but we just love them for how easy they make using a product.
While this moisturiser has a thin consistency it still moisturises my dry skin really well without making it look greasy. In fact, it leaves my skin looking healthy & glowy. It also sinks in super fast which makes it the perfect moisturiser to apply before putting on your makeup!
I also wanted to note that Celltone is against animal testing. It’s so difficult to find companies who don’t test on animals these days & I like to buy as many animal testing free products as I can. Thankfully I’ve found one!
The only negative things I have to say about this product are that I would have loved a higher SPF than 15 and also the scent isn’t my favourite. I love natural scents but I find the rose scent of this moisturiser a little too much as I’m not such a fan of rose scents. I don’t find it offensive, it’s just not my favourite.

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Xtra Hydrating Treatment

What Celltone Claim

‘A superior hydrating treatment cream made for face & body providing an invisible mesh on the skin. The mesh releases hydrating agents bringing moisture to even the driest skin. Soothing BCA Blend (Bisabalol, Calendula & Allantoin) – known for its soothing properties has been added to assist in relieving discomfort of dry skin. Beautifully silky emolients may increase aquaporin synthesis & therefore improve the water channels into the skin’

I don’t know about you but that description sounds like witchcraft!
I bought this moisturiser in addition to the daily moisturiser as I prefer a richer moisturiser in the evening & also on days when my skin is extra dry. This product is of a much thicker consistency which you can (hopefully) see in the photo below:

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Left – Daily Moisturising Lotion. Right – Xtra Hydrating Treatment

While this  product is of a much thicker consistency than the daily moisturiser it still absorbs quickly into the skin & leaves it feeling so hydrated. I really loved how my skin felt after this product & it got rid of any dry patches I had. I was initially worried that such a rich moisturiser would clog my easily clogged pores but thankfully its full of non-comedogenic ingredients that haven’t left me with breakouts. While Celltone call this a treatment rather than a moisturiser it can still be used every day as a moisturiser & it contains SPF 15 so it can be worn during the day on extra dry skin days too.
Like the Daily Moisturiser the Xtra Hydrating Treatment is scented but it has a much more subtle rose scent along with that ‘face cream’ smell so its much less offensive which I prefer.

The Final Verdict

These two products were the first that I ever bought from Celltone & I’m very much enjoying using them in my daily routine. It’s great to have found an affordable brand that’s full of natural ingredients, is paraben free & that is against animal testing. I’ll definitely be trying a few more of their products because I really am impressed!

| January Goals |

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Well here it is, 2018! Can you believe it?! I just can’t believe that people born in 2000 are now turning 18 and are legally allowed to drink. I feel like the years are passing by so fast & I’m getting old a lot quicker than I’d like.

But no one wants to listen to little old lady over here so let’s move swiftly on. With this new year comes new goals for the year. I don’t believe in the whole ‘new year, new me’ thing but I’m still a believer in setting goals. So let’s get right into my goals for the month of January!

Goal 1: Book my first smear test

So in November last year I turned 25 & where I’m from this is the first year that you are requested to go for a smear test. However since I now live in South Africa it is up to me to find a gynaecologist & book my test myself. I won’t deny that I’m nervous to get my first one as I don’t know what to expect & of course I’m worried that it will be painful. But with that being said I do know how important it is that I get one. There are so many stories out there of women who have had lucky escapes only because they religiously go for their regular smear test so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Goal 2: Save where I can 

So you may have seen my tweet (if you’re not following me on Twitter then you can follow me here – I know, shameless self-promotion, right!) that I have booked to go home in April & I’m so excited that I could squeal. By this time I won’t have seen my family in 9 months & I won’t have been home in almost a year & a half so as you can imagine it’s well overdue. With this trip coming up I want to save where I can not just this month but also for the next few as I’ll need plenty of money while I’m there to go on lovely outings. And with the Rand to Pound conversion I’ll need to save as much as I can!

Goal 3: Stick to my training & healthy eating plan

In December my boyfriend & I decided that we wanted to become super healthy & get in the best shape of our lives. We’re both slim people so we’re not doing this to lose weight. Instead we just want to tone up more & to feel even better on a day to day basis. When you eat crappy food it just leaves you feeling bloated, tired & crappy & who really wants to feel that way. So we’ve gone pretty extreme & cut out junk food & instead our plates are now filled with chicken or fish, veggies & rice. We’re also cutting down on red meat (I can tell you I’m already missing steak & lamb chops) while going to gym & doing high intensity workouts 5 days per week. 2018 WILL be the year I get into my best shape but for now January will be able adapting and focusing on sticking to this new lifestyle.

Goal 4: Get better at getting up early 

I don’t know about you but I was always one of those people who had to have 9 hours sleep every night in order to function adequately. The problem (and the blessing) of being an entrepreneur is that you can sleep as long as you like because your working day is how you want it to be. I’ve decided that I want to become a 7am riser so that I can get on with my work earlier & then close my computer earlier so that the rest of my day is my own. I will no doubt be exhausted for the first week of this but like anything else, it just takes a little routine & I’ll soon get used to it. Time to become the early bird!

 

 

| November Empties |

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Another month means another empties post & this one is jam-packed with products. I always find that when you use up products it’s either a feast or a famine – you either use up nothing or use up everything all at once. I even have makeup items in this one which very rarely happens. Looks like I’m going to have to go out & do some shopping to re-stock my bathroom cupboard!

Here’s what I used up in the month of November, what I thought of each product & whether or not I would repurchase it: 

The Body Products

Nivea Rich Moisturising Body Moisturiser
It’s rare to hear of a woman getting into a product because her boyfriend introduced her to it but as rare as that may be, that’s the case with this product. My boyfriend has always used this body moisturiser but I had never tried it until I had ran out of my own moisturiser & instead had to use some of his. Since then this has also become my everyday body moisturiser. Johannesburg has a very dry climate which leaves every inch of my skin feeling dry & in need of some serious moisturisation. This moisturiser does an amazing job at giving my skin a deep moisturisation & keeping it hydrated for the entire day & not to mention it’s also very affordable. I have already repurchased this!

Mitchum Advanced Control Deodorant Invisible Solid in Powder Fresh
I know I know, who really wants to hear about deodorant so I’ll keep this short & sweet. This is the only deodorant I use because it keeps me fresh for the entire day & has a lovely scent. I use the solid version because I don’t have to wait for it to dry. This deodorant also lasts FOREVER. This has already been a repurchase for me.

The Skincare Products

Simple Soothing Facial Toner
I didn’t actually finish this product & ending throwing 1/3rd of the product because toner just doesn’t seem to agree with my skin. I had purposefully bought this alcohol free toner because I’d heard it was best for my skin type but I think it was the product that was causing breakouts for me. Personally, I don’t feel the need for toner in my skincare regime & I’m yet to find one that agrees with my skin. I won’t be repurchasing this.

Nu Skin Moisture Restore Day Protective Lotion for Normal to Dry Skin
I mentioned this product in my previous skincare haul post & I’ve got to say that I enjoyed it. I was surprised by how small the bottle was when it arrived but it lasted about 3 months with daily use. It’s such a lightweight moisturiser but moisturised my dry skin really well without getting greasy or oily through the day. I would repurchase this product.

Nu Skin Rejuvenating Cream
Again this product featured in my skincare haul. I enjoyed this product because it was so lightweight & worked well as a night time moisturiser. I used this product during the winter months & I feel that I could have used a slightly richer cream at this time of year as Jo’burg sucks every bit of moisture out of my skin. During the summer time I think this would have been rich enough but for winter I had to pack this on to keep my skin moisturised through the night.

The Makeup Products

LA Girl Pro Coverage Foundation (Shade Natural)
I raved about this product in my current beauty favourites so I’ll keep this short & sweet. Basically I love this foundation. It’s lightweight while offering high coverage which you all know that I love. It also has a dewy finish which again I love but it’s absolutely essential that you set this foundation otherwise it will be sliding all around your face. I’ve already purchased this foundation & it’s already on the go because it’s found itself into my favourite foundations category.

Vichy Dermablend Foundation (Shade 25 Nude)
Again this is another foundation that I’ve raved about & I am so glad that it’s finally come to South Africa – and just in time too because I’d just finished the last bottle from my UK stash. You know a product is really good when you cut it open to make sure you use it all up! This foundation offers some of the highest coverage I’ve ever experienced from a foundation while being incredibly lightweight & easy to blend. Again this is another foundation that you absolutely have to set but it’s a wonder product that I’ve already repurchased.

Freedom Duo Eyebrow Powder in Medium Brown
Here’s another product that unfortunately I didn’t get to finish because it completely broke on me. I was pretty disappointed because I hadn’t even made much of a dent in it! I absolutely love the Freedom Brow Pomade & initially bought this for my no-makeup makeup days when I wanted my brows to look as natural as possible. It was great for achieving a really natural look for the brows but I just think I’m over using powders for my brows so I didn’t reach for it very much. But for such an affordable product, it’s pigmented & easy to blend! I wouldn’t repurchase this just because I prefer cream eyebrow products.

 

 

| December Goals |

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I think I’m still in shock that we’re in the final month of 2017. I feel like I’ve blinked & this year has almost passed! This month is going to be a strange one for me, really strange. And it is with this realisation that I wanted to talk about my December goals (and also because I haven’t written a goals post in a few months)

Goal 1: Deal with spending Christmas somewhere else
This is my biggest goal for this month & I know that it isn’t going to be easy. For the past 24 years I have never spent a Christmas without my family let alone on the other side of the world. Honestly, I’m already struggling with it. I haven’t been in the Christmas spirit as it’s hot here, there are no Christmas decorations up in the house & I’m not doing my traditional Christmas outings & activities. I’ve been hating seeing everyone (especially family & friends) posting about it on social media. It’s difficult being without your family & friends at this time of year & Christmas in South Africa just isn’t the same. At all.
My goal for this month is to make the most of this. I’m getting to spend Christmas in a new country & I’m getting to spend Christmas with my love which I’m thankful for & I know he’ll do his best to try & make it special for me. Now it’s just up to me to make the most of this situation & to enjoy the festive period as much as I can, no matter how un-christmassy it may feel!

Goal 2: Relax
2017 has been one of the most hectic years of my life & it has also been one of the toughest. In my What I Learnt as a 24 Year Old post I lightly touched on this if you want to take a look. Basically, it was the biggest learning curve & it’s been pretty damn stressful. With the arrival of the festive period & going on a week away, I just want to relax & unwind for a little while. While I’ll have a little work to do here & there I want to limit this a lot so that I can get the break that I’ve earned. I’ve worked a lot this year & I’ve learnt a lot this year so it’s time to give my tired brain & body a rest!

Goal 3: Learn to cook a turkey
So I’m 25 & I’ve never cooked a turkey & the only reason that I’m making the big life decision to do so is because I’m spending Christmas with my boyfriends family who don’t like to eat turkey. So I’ve decided that I’m going to cook my first turkey because I cannot imagine a Christmas without my traditional dinner & if I’m not having Christmas at home, I’ll bring Christmas at home to South Africa. Wish me luck & pray that I don’t burn down the kitchen, I’m going to need it!

Goal 4: Reflect on my year
As mentioned this year has been crazy for me, but it has been a year when I have learnt more than I ever could have imagined I would. I started businesses, failed, got up & tried again. While at times I’ve felt that this year was a complete failure, if I really spend the time to look at what I’ve gone through & where I am now, I really should be proud of what I’ve achieved. I want to spend some time & write in my diary all the things that I’ve faced, overcame & achieved because I want to keep it as a reminder to never give up!

 

| The Best of Real Techniques Makeup Brushes |

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I go on & on about makeup here on Beauty & The Blouse but what good is makeup if you don’t have good brushes to apply it with!

Over the years I’ve tried a bunch of brushes from different brands but I always find myself reaching for my Real Techniques brushes. From the moment I bought my first Real Techniques set I completely fell in love & a long love affair began. They offer so many different brushes, superb quality, affordable prices & not to mention they look cute too. I just can’t fault them!

So lets get into my Real Techniques favourites:

Real Techniques Nic’s Picks Limited Edition Brush Set

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I hate talking about limited addition products in case you guys can’t get a hold of them so I’m sorry that I’m mentioning these but you can still buy them online if you want them! In the Nic’s Picks collection there are 5 brushes but it is only 3 of these that made it into my Ride or Die selection; the Cheek Brush, the Angled Eyeshadow Brush & the Base Shadow Brush.

The Cheek Brush (set exclusive): (1st photo above) This is my absolute go-to blush brush. It’s so dense & picks up a lot of product (so be careful with those super pigmented blushes) & blends out my blush beautifully to give me the understated look that I always go for when it comes to my blush.
The Angled Eyeshadow Brush (set exclusive): (2nd photo above left) Holy moly this brush is so unbelievable soft & fluffy. It’s a very easy brush to work with in that it provides plenty of movement for blending but I would say that for those with smaller eyelids, this may be a little more difficult to work with. I love using this to apply my dark, outer corner shade.
The Base Shadow Brush: (2nd photo above right) This product does exactly what it says on the tin & more. Again like the brush above its so soft & fluffy. It is the perfect shape & size & has the perfect density to apply your base shadow quickly & effortlessly. It’s also great to help you draw out your crease colour & you can then blend it out too. It can be a really versatile brush if you want it to.

 

Real Techniques Sculpting Brush Set

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Yet another set from real techniques that sucked me in was the Sculpting Brush Set. I love a good contour & a set of brushes that was designed to help me contour & sculpt my face was always going to be a winner! In this set there are 3 brushes but there are only 2 of these that I use almost every day; The Setting Brush (above left) & the Sculpting Brush (above right)

The Setting Brush: This brush was of course designed to add powder to the skin whether it be setting powder or highlight. This brush is the perfect size for setting specific areas of the face & I personally use it to set my under-eye concealer on a daily basis.
The Sculpting Brush: This brush is a super dense, wide brush that is perfect for my contour powder. Because of it’s slanted shape it fits into the hollows of my cheeks easily & because of its density it blends out my contour shade effortlessly. The only thing I want to mention is that because of the thickness of the brush you need to concentrate a little if you want a sharp contour to avoid it going above your cheekbones.

 

Real Techniques Core Collection

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These were the first brushes that I ever bought from Real Techniques & were what started my long love affair with the brand. These brushes are marketed as 4 steps to complete coverage & the set includes 4 brushes of which I’ve included 2; the Buffing Brush (above middle) & the Contour Brush (above right)

The Buffing Brush: This brush is great for applying powder because of it’s slightly flattened top & because of the density. I previous used it with my setting powder to set my foundation however I have recently started using it with my bronzer because the density of the brush picks up a lot of product to give me that bronzed look that I love in the summer. It’s also fantastic for blending out my bronzer so that my skin looks naturally sun-kissed.
The Contour Brush: This little domed brush is my go-to for my powder highlighters. It is the right size for the tops of my cheekbones, picks up enough product & blends the highlighting powder perfectly to give me that seamless, popping highlight that I love. It’s also a small enough size to apply highlight down the centre of the nose.

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (above left)

There’s a reason why this is Real Techniques #1 best-selling brush – it is a dream for foundation. When it comes to foundation brushes I’m incredibly fussy. I want a brush that doesn’t waste too much product, that isn’t too small, that is dense & soft, that effortlessly blends my foundation & that leaves a beautiful streak-free finish (I’m not asking for much am I!) This brush gives me all of those things. It’s perfect for liquid foundations & it’s the right shape & density to make applying my foundation the effortless task I want it to be while giving me a perfectly flawless finish.

What are your favourite Real Techniques brushes?

 

 

| Review: Sleek Matte Me Lip Creams|

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You all know that I love a good liquid lipstick. I love how effortless & pigmented they are & how well they last throughout the day (if of course they are a good formula.) I bought a couple of the Sleek Matte Me lipsticks a while back & I felt obliged to tell you about my experience with them. Here is my experience:

What Sleek Claim

Sleek describe their Matte Me lip cream as:

‘A matte finish liquid lipstick that glides on in one smooth application, with no need for a second coat. The light as air texture provides you with comfortable wear for hours, that doesn’t cake, flake or dry out, ensuring long lasting colour all day.’

The Shades

The shade selection of these lipsticks is really quite good with 21 shades available including nudes, reds, pinks, purples & brown shades from light to dark. The two colours that I oped for were Birthday Suit & Shabby Chic. 
Birthday Suit is is a nude shade that leans a lot more on the peachy orange side. This is definitely not my favourite colour on me. I have never suited peachy tones because of my cooler toned skin & this just didn’t compliment my skin tone.
Shabby Chic is a mid-toned pink with a lot of purple undertones. It truly is a gorgeous shade that added a lot of warmth & colour to my face. It’s definitely my kind of colour.

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The Formula

This is where these lipsticks seriously let me down. Quite frankly the formula really isn’t great. When first applied they look very pretty. They don’t go on streaky & they’re very pigmented so initially I was impressed. Then they just went south. They dry quickly but once dried they showed up every single line on my lips & they became so dry. I was very aware that the product was on my lips as they weren’t comfortable to wear. When I kept applying lip balm to Shabby Chic I could deal with it because the colour was so nice & it is a slightly (and I mean slightly) better formula but with Birthday Suit there was just no saving it.

Put to the Test

The Eating Test – After I had this product on my lips for about 20 minutes & it was completely dry I ate my breakfast to test how well it held up. Well basically, it didn’t. You know after you’ve had a lip product on for a long time you can get that line half way down your lips where half your lips have lipstick & half don’t? That’s what happened. So it didn’t quite pass the eating test but it wasn’t completely gone either! Just make sure you carry around a mirror for touch-ups!

The Wear Test – So I wore this lipstick for about 3 hours & then I could wear it no longer. It had gone patchy, dry & just didn’t look cute at all so I had to take it off before I left the house. Again, Shabby Chic tends to wear better but Birthday Suit was just a massive no after a few hours.

The Verdict

Generally Sleek are a good brand with a lot going for them when it comes to their products & there are many products of theirs that I really like. (They also don’t test on animals which gets a big YAY from me) However, they really let me down on their Matte Me liquid lipsticks. I wouldn’t purchase any more shades because they’re just too much fuss for me. If a liquid lipstick makes my lips look incredibly dehydrated when in fact they’re not & if it doesn’t wear well, then unfortunately I cannot recommend it. Sorry Sleek but these get a big thumbs down from me!

Have you tried the Matte Me liquid lip creams? What did you think? 

| My Everyday Makeup Routine |

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I don’t know about you guys, but I love to know what other women keep in their everyday makeup bag. It contains the products that we reach for over & over again & that our daily routine doesn’t feel complete with out. So I thought – why not show you what I use every day?

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When I apply my makeup in the morning my goal is always to make my skin look glowy, make my eyes stand out & to make my lips look more defined which is why I tend to reach for the products in this post. While I tend to use quite a few products every day I like my makeup to still look fairly natural so I use them all quite sparingly – minus my setting spray because THE GLOW! So without further ado, let’s get into my every day makeup routine!

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The Foundation | L.A Girl Pro Coverage HD Foundation

I have literally been obsessed with this foundation for the past couple of months. When I look for a foundation I want something that gives me full coverage to cover my freckles without being heavy to avoid causing spots on my easily clogged pores. This foundation provides both of those things. It has a more dewy finish than some of my other foundations which is great for giving my skin a glowy sheen but it will definitely move if it’s not set so make sure to set it with a powder! ( I bought the shade Natural although it’s a little too dark for me so I’ll be opting for a slightly lighter shade when I repurchase.)

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The Concealer | Collection Lasting Finish Concealer

First of all, let’s ignore the worse-for-wear packaging as unfortunately the writing always wears off on this concealer but because the product inside is so good, we’ll let that slide. This has been my holy grail concealer for the longest time & I try to stock up on them when I travel home to N.Ireland. I use the lightest shade (Shade 1 Fair) & it is perfect for brightening up my under-eye without being too light & it covers everything including the dark veining on my eyelids. It’s also lightweight & easy to blend out & isn’t tacky or sticky.

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The Under-Eye Setting Powder | MAC Studio Fix Powder

When I last repurchased this product I accidentally bought the wrong shade (NC20) which turned out to be the perfect shade to set my under eyes & keep them looking bright. This powder is actually a powder foundation but as I prefer to use liquid foundation, I like to use this as a setting powder as it provides extra coverage. It sets my under eyes so well & keeps my concealer in place all day. If you do want to use this as a face powder it’s very mattifying so it will keep oils at bay if you have oily skin.

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The Bronzer | Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder

I cannot finish any makeup look without applying bronzer to my temples & around the outside of my face as it brings life to my face & stops me looking sickly pale. I originally bought this bronzer because of the massive hype around it & honestly, I hate it but because I don’t like wasting products I’ve been working on using it up (which is the only reason it’s in this post.) It is so hard to actually pick the product up on a brush so I end up spending more time than I’d like working my brush in the pan. I also find the shade a bit too orangey for my liking so I definitely won’t be repurchasing this product but it’s mentioned only because of how important bronzer is in my daily face routine!

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The Blush | Makeup Revolution Blush Palette in Hot Spice

I raved about this blush palette in my Top Favourite Blushes post & I’m still obsessed with it. It’s full of gorgeous peachy shades that look beautiful on the cheeks & I’ve found myself reaching for it even more with the arrival of our summer months. The great thing about these blushes is that they are also so pigmented which is why this palette looks almost untouched. This palette is a big favourite of mine & I definitely recommend to anyone!

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The Highlighter | The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer

I’ve mentioned this highlighter in my Best of the Best Highlighters post so I’ll try not to go into too much detail here. Can you see how much of a creature of habit I am? I’m always using the same products! Basically, this is my ride or die highlighter and I am absolutely obsessed with it. It’s a pale gold shade that can be worn on any skin tone & it gives the most gorgeous sheen to the skin than can easily be built up if you love to blind people with your highlight. I really cannot be without this product. Like ever.

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The Brows | FREEDOM Eyebrow Pomade

I bought this product about a year and half ago & I’ve used it everyday since & it’s still going strong as it’s so pigmented that I only need a small amount of product each time! It’s a fantastic dupe for the Anastasia Dip Brow but at only £5 it is only a fraction of the cost. I use the shade Medium Brown & it is a perfect shade for my brows. I like my brows to look as natural as possible rather than being heavily filled-in so I simply use an angled brush, outline my eyebrows very lightly & fill them in with light-handed strokes. It’s a very easy to use product for an even better price!

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The Eyeshadow | Zoeva Smoky Eyeshadow Palette 

I like to change up my everyda0y eye shadows now & again but I’m a creature of habit & I’ve been reaching for this palette the most over the past few months as it is absolutely stunning. The quality of these eye shadows are fantastic as they’re highly pigmented, easily blended & I don’t have any fall out. For my everyday look I like to use brown shadows that make my eyes stand out & that give definition while being fairly natural. To do this I apply:

Relieve The Moon (top left) | All over the lid up to the brow bone
Sweet Smell (top row, 2nd from right) | In the crease & slightly above
Ashes Awake (bottom row, 2nd from right) | In the outer corner
Real Light (Black) | In a thin line along my lash line to thicken appearance of my lashes

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The Lip Liner | MAC Lip Liner in Soar

You can tell how much I love this lip liner by how small it’s gotten – I think it’s almost time I bought a replacement don’t you? This is one of the famous ‘Kylie Jenner’ lip products & for good reason. It’s a stunning mid-tone pinkish brown shade that looks absolutely stunning on the lips. It makes my lips stand out & is the perfect shade against my skin tone. MAC Lip Liners are also very pigmented, easy to work with and last really well throughout the day so even if I’m not reaching for Soar, I’m generally reaching for another shade of MAC Lip Liner.

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The Lipstick | MAC Lipstick in Brave

The perfect for pairing for Soar lip liner is MAC’s lipstick in Brave which is yet another famous ‘Kylie Jenner’ shade. MAC describe Brave as a pink-beige shade with white pearl and it is a satin finish. Satin finishes have always been my favourite MAC lipstick finish as they’re highly pigmented while being moisturising on the lips. Just like Soar it looks beautiful against my skin tone & I think it would look good against almost all skin tones for that matter. When I wear this lipstick with Soar lip liner it’s a killer combo that I just can’t get enough of!

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The Finishing Spray | MAC Fix +

This is one of those MAC products that is raved about time & time again across the world & until I bought this product for the first time a few years back, I didn’t know just how much I needed it in my life. It’s a finishing spray that takes away the powdery look that can be left by your makeup & leaves your makeup looking dewy, glowy & gorgeous. I also sometimes use it under makeup too when I need that extra moisture blast & it makes my foundation glide on. I mentioned that I love my every day makeup to look glowy & this product finishes my makeup & gives me the healthy sheen that I love so much.

 

| Thank You for 1000 Views |

Ice Cream Party

I just wanted to put up a quick post in celebration of reaching 1000 views on Beauty & The Blouse. As a new blogger this is an exciting milestone for me as I put a lot of hard work into writing & perfecting my posts, taking beautiful photos & coming up with new ideas for blog posts that I think you will all enjoy.

I just want to thank all of my followers and my readers for taking the time to read what I have to say, to comment and to like my posts. You are all amazing & I’m so grateful for you all.

You're invited to an

 

 

| Body Image by The Skinny Girl |

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Let’s talk body image. It’s one of those topics that can touch every woman because whether we admit it or not, it has played a big part in our lives growing up. I want to talk about body image from one perspective & one perspective only. It’s the side of body image confidence that we never really hear about because the media has twisted it completely. It’s the side of body image that doesn’t always have a voice & by writing this post I intend to give it a voice – it’s the body image of the ‘skinny’ girl.I hate the word skinny & I always have. For me it has so many negative connotations around it & my insides continue to squirm when I hear it even at the ripe old age of 25, but I’m going to use it for the purpose of this post.

So let me give you a little bit of a background – I’m that skinny girl. I have been very slim my whole life which has a lot to do with a thyroid condition that I was born with (but we’ll not get into that) so I have never been this slim by choice. Now when I say slim I don’t just mean slightly smaller than average – I mean that my legs were minuscule & shockingly tiny. I hated them more than could imagine. Growing up I had serious confidence issues & was so self-conscious about my body. While I am no longer as skinny as I was as a teen, I’m still tiny but I’ve just learnt to accept it & deal with it. But I’ll never forget the things that people called me, the sly comments & the judgemental stares. That is the reason for this blog post – I want to talk about what it’s like to be a skinny girl in today’s society & how harmful it can be.

Now I want to add a little disclaimer here because body image can be a sensitive topic for many: I am in no way undermining those who are overweight or what they go through mentally when it comes to body image. I am simply giving my perspective from someone on the opposite end of the spectrum because it’s something that is rarely talked about.

The media has shaped society’s thinking around weight massively. We’re constantly seeing and reading about celebrities losing & gaining weight featuring unflattering photos & nasty articles. It’s a horrible world & can hurt so many peoples self-esteem. A pattern that you’ll notice if you pay attention, is that according to the media anyone who is too thin MUST have an eating disorder because no one can naturally be that thin. It is this thinking that can be so detrimental to people like me who are naturally  underweight. Throughout my life I had to constantly explain myself when people made comments like ‘you’re so skinny, do you not eat?’, ‘you’re too thin, you need to go eat lots of burgers’ & so on. The problem was that because the media had shaped society in such a way no one could understand that I could possibly be this size if I ate a normal diet.

This is where society is so wrong. As a ‘skinny’ girl I have received as much criticism, as much judgement & as much hurtfulness as someone who is over weight but people struggle to or can’t see or understand that. People assume that we couldn’t possibly understand how a larger person feels but I’ve stood in front of the mirror & cried about how I look, I’ve felt self-conscious in every outfit I tried on and I tried to hide my body because I felt it was ugly. So the reality is that those of us who are very underweight can relate to those who are overweight more than you think.

There has also become an acceptance in society that if someone is too slim, that it’s okay to tell them. You would never go up to an overweight person & say nasty things but if it’s a ‘skinny’ person it’s perfectly fine to do that. I am not saying that overweight people never get horrible comments made at them by lowlifes, I’m just saying that people feel like they have a right to tell someone that they’re too thin because ‘its for their own interest’ or because ‘society says it’s okay’. I’m here to tell you that you have no right to comment on anyone’s weight. Ever.

This may have been a slightly long-winded blog post but I just wanted to create awareness about what you say & how you act towards ‘skinny’ people. We have feelings, we’re sensitive about our size & we feel body issues like anyone else. I didn’t choose to be this size & it’s very, very difficult for me to change it. My challenge to you is that if you don’t already, treat ‘skinny’ people with the same respect as you would anyone else because you have no idea how they feel about themselves. Don’t make comments about their weight. Don’t make them feel inferior, worthless or bad about themselves.  If I ever have a daughter with a similar body shape to mine, I would never want her to feel what I have felt & neither would you.
Basically, be nice & don’t be a dick!